Viewership Dip for Obama Primetime Presser


That, and other news, in today’s Roundup and Recap.

President Obama’s second primetime press conference drew 31.1 million viewers across all four broadcast networks, down 2 million from his last big face-to-face with the White House press corps on Feb.9. The numbers could fluctuate as more accurate figures come in this afternoon.

Update: Nielsen says 40,354,000 watched the press conference across all networks (cable and broadcast), compared to 49,455,000 for his first press conference. Of all of his media appearances since taking off, his address o a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24 has drawn the most viewers, 52.4 million. 

Lots of reaction throughout the blogosphere this morning to what was generally a more detailed and serious press conference with more pointed and challenging questions from the press corps. Many took note that Obama failed to call on reporters for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, although the session took on a harder edge with reporters given more leeway to ask followup questions.

Significance? Dean Baquet of the New York Times says, “We’ll get our turn,” while former Washington Post reporter Haynes Johnson says,it “signals a deliberate effort by the Obama White House to denigrate the major newspapers.”

A summary of press reactions here.

Arts Adviser: Obama plans to name a full time point person overseeing the arts and culture, working in the White House, with Kareem Dale filling the spot on an interim basis.

On the Hill: Tim Daly, co-president of the Creative Coalition, testifies before the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee on Thursday “about the positive impact that the entertainment and arts communities have on the nation’s economy.” It comes as the industry makes a stronger effort to promote the idea that the entertainment business is a generator of jobs rather than tabloid headlines.

Boxer Fundraiser: Sen. Barbara Boxer raises money at the home of Ron Burkle on April 15, at an event hosted by Burkle and Debra and Sim Farar, with Antonio Villaraigosa among those on the bill. The event costs $2,000 per person and $4,800 per co-hosts. The post-Easter week is traditionally a big time for D.C. politicos to make their way to L.A. for campaign funds, so expect many more than Boxer to throw fetes.

“The Special Relationship”: HBO is preparing to greenlight Peter Morgan’s next film, “The Special Relatinship,” about the late-Clinton years of 1997-2000 and the president’s relationship with British prime minister Tony Blair. Dennis Quaid will play Clinton and Julianne Moore will play Hillary, with Michael Sheen reprising his role as Blair.

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  1. dave says:

    I guess “viewership dip” is one way to report it — “massive audience” would be another. So would “one of the most watched news events of the year so far.”

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