The LA Times manufactured “vitriolic exchanges” between Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann to explain a sudden surge in O’Relly’s viewership.
Two weeks of vitriolic exchanges between cable news hosts Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann have amped up viewership for Fox News as efforts by corporate executives to strike a détente fell apart.
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who face off in the 5 p.m. PDT time slot, have been attacking each other’s networks ever since news broke earlier this month that executives had sought to tamp down the personal attacks by the two men, whose sparring has long been a staple of the cable news wars.
The renewed feud appears to have benefited O’Reilly, whose show “The O’Reilly Factor” averaged nearly 3.5 million viewers between Aug. 3 and 13, the nine days following the news of the supposed truce. That’s 7% higher than his average viewership so far this year and 12% more than his average this quarter, which began June 29. He also recorded more than a million viewers in the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic twice last week, his largest showings among that age group this year.
“Countdown With Keith Olbermann” pulled in an average of 1.17 million viewers between Aug. 3 and 13, down 4% from his year-to-date average but up 13% for the quarter.
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O’Reilly has more than twice the viewership than Olbermann with a million viewers to spare and he rarely, if ever, mentions Olbermann on his program.
His increase in viewership has absolutely nothing to do with the MSNBC kook.
A more likely explanation of this spike in viewership would be the increased interest in Obamacare and the town hall meetings that have picked up steam in the last month.