It’s been just over a month since Maria Bartiromo debuted her new show on Fox Business Network.
It’s off to a very slow start.
There were high hopes when Fox Business hired Bartiromo from CNBC after two decades. She’s known for her deep Wall Street Rolodex and ability to book big name guests. So the thought was that loyal CNBC viewers might follow Bartiromo to FOX.
So far, it certainly doesn’t seem like they are.
Bartiromo’s morning show the “Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo”, which began on February 24th, ranked 119th out of 123 cable news shows, according to first quarter ratings data posted by TVNewser. The other Fox Business shows that came in behind her were “Willis Report” and “Money With Melissa Frances,” the data shows.
The ratings data shows that Bartiromo’s show is reaching a total of 53,000 viewers. However, in the critical viewer demographic that FOX wants to reach (folks ages 25-54), she’s averaging only 7,000 viewers per show.
Bartiromo has one the best time slots of the day because it’s around the opening of the market, which is generally the busiest time with breaking news and headlines. So these numbers are particularly disappointing. They’re also lower than the viewership FOX was getting in this time slot before Bartiromo debuted.
During January and February, when Stuart Varney’s FOX Business show “Varney & Co.” aired in the same 9-11 a.m. time slot, he was reaching a total of 110,000 households and 23,000 in the coveted demographic. So FOX Business’s viewership has actually been cut in half in these hours since Bartiromo took over.
Varney’s show, meanwhile, has moved back two hours to the 11 a.m.-1 p.m. time period. The data shows that Varney averages 94,000 in total viewers and 16,000 in the demo. That’s nearly double Bartiromo’s viewers!
Meanwhile, CNBC’s “Squawk On The Street” (9-11 a.m.) was doing roughly 200,000 in total viewers and about 45,000 in the key demo during the first quarter, the data shows. CNBC’s “Closing Bell”, which used to be hosted by Bartiromo and is is now hosted by Kelly Evans, had about 36,000 viewers in the demo and roughly 188,000 total households during that period.
Across the board for the financial news, the ratings in general are lousy. CNBC’s ratings recently hit their lowest level in 20 years.
Still, this is certainly not a strong start for Bartiromo, who FOX is paying a reported $US4-$5 million a year.
Bartiromo is new to the Fox audience. She does have a Sunday show on Fox News Channel that will help expose her to a more general audience and help viewers get to know her better.
We reached out to FOX Business for comment. We will update this article if we hear back.
Here’s the Q1 ratings data: