Cable TV News Gets High Ratings for Zimmerman Trial, CNN Runs 2 Recaps


Saturation coverage by some television outlets of the George Zimmerman trial in Florida is being overdone, say some commentators on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” Journalist Terry Smith calls the trial “intriguing,” and says the characters involved are “interesting,” but concludes, “Is it worth all the coverage and all the time? Of course not.” Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says, “this level of attention is to be expected, given the scope of the original story.”

Departing “Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz says ratings for cable networks that have focused on the Zimmerman case “are significantly higher than they are in a typical news day.” Kurtz wonders whether the Zimmermian coverage is crowding out other news stories. Associated Press reports that CNN is competing with its own HLN (formerly Headline News) with nightly Zimmerman trial recaps. CNN’s “Self Defense or Murder?” has been averaging averaged 597,000 viewers nightly, and HLN’s “After Dark” has averaged 463,000 viewers.

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