‘Rivera’ edges ‘King’ in demo

Geraldo Rivera’s “Rivera Live” talkshow on CNBC beat its chief cable talk competitor, “Larry King Live,” for the first time in the prime demographic aged 25 to 54 during the fourth quarter of 1996.

According to Nielsen, the tally shows “Rivera Live” snaring 316,000 viewers in the 25-54 bracket, with King’s show taking just 288,000. “King” continues to win the household race, however, with 832,000 vs. 689,000 for Rivera.

“This is a breakthrough moment for us,” said Bruno Cohen, senior VP of programming for CNBC. “(The most impressive thing) is that we’ve achieved this number with 10 million fewer subscribers than CNN has. We have 61 million. They have roughly 71 million homes now. That means they have a 16% advantage on us in distribution at this point in time.”

Cohen said that CNBC sees itself as being “directly competitive” with CNN and the King program.

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