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[06/08/11 - 09:02 AM]
"60 Minutes" Gains Viewers in a Season Marked by News-Making Investigations, Big Interviews and Timely Reporting
CBS spins the numbers for the series for the season to date.

[via press release from CBS]

"60 MINUTES" GAINS VIEWERS IN A SEASON MARKED BY NEWS-MAKING INVESTIGATIONS, BIG INTERVIEWS AND TIMELY REPORTING

Online Traffic also Up Significantly for Television's Most-Watched News Program, Much of it Due to its New Webcast, 60MinutesOvertime.com

More Americans are watching the country's #1 news program. 60 MINUTES grew its audience by +1 percent over the 2010-'11 season, averaging +79,000 more viewers per broadcast than last season. The hit CBS News magazine drew an average of 13.361 million viewers, up from 13.282 million last season, according to Nielsen live plus seven day ratings.

Half of 60 MINUTES' 2010-'11 telecasts landed on Nielsen's weekly top 10 list and the broadcast ended the season currently ranked #15 of 179 primetime programs. In households, 60 MINUTES finished the season with an 8.4/14, unchanged over 2009-'10.

60 MINUTES also reaches more viewers than any other primetime non-sports program, with a cumulative 2010-'11 season reach of 120,901,000 viewers.

60 MINUTES 43rd season was marked by news-making investigations, big interviews and timely reports from its correspondents and producers. "Moving the needle is a major accomplishment in this environment," said the program's executive producer, Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News. "And we did it by breaking major news with some classic 60 MINUTES investigations, working hard to get the stories behind the big headlines and, in some cases, getting to breaking news events and finding remarkable 60 MINUTES-style stories to report."

Among those stories: Scott Pelley's investigation into doping in pro-cycling and Lance Armstrong, his moving report from the Japanese earthquake zone and his series of reports on Americans hit hardest by the Great Recession; Steve Kroft's revelations that author and humanitarian Greg Mortenson lied in his best-selling book, "Three Cups of Tea," his debriefing of Barack Obama in the president's only interview about the killing of Osama bin Laden and his interview of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange; Lesley Stahl's interview's with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and House Speaker John Boehner; Bob Simon's interview of the rescued Chilean miners and his profile of the almost undefeated thoroughbred Zenyatta; Morley Safer's musical journey with Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and his interview with New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan; Lara Logan's story of her ordeal in Egypt and her reporting under fire in Afghanistan; Byron Pitts' story on the "N" word; and Anderson Cooper's profile of Lady Gaga.

Interest about those and other 60 MINUTES stories spilled onto the Web. 60 MINUTES online traffic enjoyed a significant increase over last season's thanks mostly to the new, single-sponsored Webcast, 60MinutesOvertime.com, launched in fall 2010. Online streaming of 60 MINUTES videos rose 53 percent, users increased by 40 percent and page views were up by 39 percent.

Bill Owens, 60 MINUTES' executive editor, oversees 60MinutesOvertime.com





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