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TV Ratings Get Obama Bailout March 24, 2009

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, Journalism, News, Reviews, Social Media, Trends, Web Video.


These are times of media economic malaise and plummeting viewership. A presidential helping hand could give ratings a leg up. With folks counting on every word by the still popular President Obama, TV show producers know they have ratings in the bag when he shows up.

Never mind the gaffes and the PC slip-ups, when the President went on Jay Leno’s 11:30 p.m. show on Thursday 19 March, the show hit its highest ratings in 10 years and its fourth highest rating in 16 years.

Some dismiss it as distasteful at best, but I say thank God for a President who is media fluent and who knows how to reach out to people on his policy. No secrecy, no auto cue. You decide. View President Obama’s full interview with Jay Leno.


On Sunday he appeared on the 60 Minutes interview program with more than 16 million viewers, a high for the program in some years, and around 1 million more than for the college basketball game beforehand. The interview was the highest rated program of the evening.

And oh, the President will be hosting his own prime time (2000 EDT, 0100gmt) news conference this evening from the White House. Mr Obama is certainly media savvy, using video across all platforms equally effectively to deliver his message.

The US President used spring festival of Nowruz to send a message that America wants to end decades of tension with Iran. It was the warmest US message in 30 years of hostilities. The theorcracy in Tehran may not want to appear too impressed, but Obama broke new communication ground.

With The White House Blog, A New Year, A New Beginning the American leader reached out to the public over the heads of the Iranian leadership. Mr Obama took the unusual step of recording a video appeal to the Iranian people for a new beginning in relations between the two countries. View President Obama’s Nowruz Message.


President Obama sends out a video message with Farsi subtitles to wish Iranians a happy new year and to hope that the America and Iran could settle their differences.



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