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March 21, 2006

Gallup CNN Break-Up

And speaking of Gallup...

Here at MP, we are not prone to posting gossipy items about the polling industry, largely because what little gossip MP hears, is well... not worth posting.  Today however, thanks to TVNewser (via Hotline On Call), we have news that Gallup and CNN are "breaking up."  And it's not pretty:

In a memo dated Wednesday, March 15, CEO Jim Clifton wrote: "We have chosen not to renew our contract with CNN. We have had a great relationship with CNN, but it is not the right alignment for our future."

"CNN has far fewer viewers than it did in the past, and we feel that our brand was getting lost and diluted," Clifton continued. "...We have only about 200,000 viewers during our CNN segments."

Gallup no longer wants a broadcast partner, according to the memo. "We are creating our own program and we don't want to be married" to one network, Clifton wrote. Analysts like Frank Newport will be seen as more independent under the new arrangement, he added.

"We have offered to help CNN find a new polling partner and to be as helpful as we can during this transition," Clifton concluded. Gallup IS renewing its deal with USA Today. The newspaper has about 10 million readers per day, the memo noted.

As the Hotline's Aoife McCarthy put it, "ouch." 

In response, CNN issued a statement to TVNewser and the Hotline:

Jim Clifton's statements are not only unprofessional but in every respect untrue.

Jim Walton actually spoke with Jim Clifton, CEO of The Gallup Poll, and was told by Mr. Clifton that the reason that Gallup wanted to end their partnership was that the CNN brand was so dominant that Gallup wasn't getting the attention for the polls that they wanted.

We want to make it clear that the decision to not renew our polling arrangement had to do with Gallup's desire to produce their own broadcasts and not about CNN viewership figures. In fact, Gallup had negotiated with us for four months in an effort to extend the partnership.

While we appreciate that Gallup does not wish to have any broadcasting partner for the future, I must note that CEO Jim Clifton's excuse to his employees for ending the relationship has no basis in fact. It shows ignorance of not only our viewership figures but of the reach and value of the CNN brand.

Domestically, our viewership was grossly misstated in his comments. CNN's average monthly reach in 2005 was 66.7 million, far and away the No. 1 source for cable news.

There's more - see the two posts on TVNewswer for the details.

Ouch indeed.

PS:  Wonkette's new editors have their own unique take here

Related Entries - Polls in the News, Pollsters

Posted by Mark Blumenthal on March 21, 2006 at 07:23 PM in Polls in the News, Pollsters | Permalink



But I'm sure that Zogby would be happy to take Gallup's place...

Posted by: Paul Brewer | Mar 21, 2006 9:14:48 PM

How long before CNN is fighting for a White House press pass with other journalistic peers like Jeff Gannon ?

Posted by: Neo | Mar 22, 2006 12:25:43 PM

Zogby & CNN - a match made in heaven.

Do it!

Posted by: Don S | Mar 24, 2006 8:12:25 PM

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