On the same day that Gawker dropped a bomb on Bill O’Reilly, Keith Olbermann’s Countdown drew its highest number of viewers since the show’s June debut. Coincidence? I think not.
TVNewser reports, “‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ on Current TV drew 310,000 total viewers and 102,000 A25-54 viewers on Tuesday night, giving the former MSNBC host his highest ratings since the week his show debuted in June.”
The show featured an interview with Joe Wilson discussing Dick Cheney’s new book, but that could not have been the reason for the big ratings number, because Wilson and his wife Valarie Plame had already been on MSNBC’s The Last Word the night before. Beyond the Wilson interview the show featured several strong segments including those with Amanda Terkel and Derrick Pitts.
That was all good, but I think people were tuning in for this:
I don’t think it is a coincidence that the same day Gawker dropped a bomb on Bill O’Reilly, Keith Olbermann got a big ratings bounce on Current. Considering that Olbermann pulled 179,000 people for his debut in June, 102,000 are some strong numbers for Keith. (His former MSNBC drew 154,000 demo viewers on the same night). It has been clear for a while that Olbermann is taking a bite of MSNBC’s ratings, but I have a hunch that the bump in viewership was due to Bill O’Reilly’s extra marital internal affairs.
Olbermann has had his own run in, or 10 with Gawker in the past, but the author of the Gawker story, John Cook, did some excellent research and reporting, so this has become a classic case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
These ratings are great news for Olbermann as he continues to put the pieces in place to turn Current into an independent progressive media outlet. The next step for Current is to increase the number of homes they are in, but that will come. Countdown on Current is pretty much the same solid show that it was on MSNBC, with the exception that Keith Olbermann seems happy. Countdown has lost the ominous gloom vibe that felt present during Olbermann’s final days at MSNBC.
The ratings for Tuesday night’s show prove that when the world wants to laugh at Bill O’Reilly, which I am going to guess is fairly often, they cozy up in front of the TV and share some hi def camaraderie with Keith Olbermann.