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Keith Olbermann's Countdown has reached a milestone that many thought was out of reach. After getting a boost from an airing during the pre-season football broadcast on NBC a couple of weeks ago, Countdown has burst into a real competition with its nemesis, The O'Reilly Factor.

The O'Reilly Fracture

Read it and weep ... celebrate.

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News Corpse, The Internet's Chronicle Of Media Decay.

The highpoint of the week for Olbermann was Friday when he bested O'Reilly in the 25-54 demo by 39,000 viewers. But the trend has been heading this way for a while. On Thursday, O'Reilly took the hour, but Olbermann had won the first half (Countdown: 408K - Factor: 373K). An average of all airings for the shows for the week gave O'Reilly a lead of just 11.7K demo viewers. A year ago O'Reilly was clobbering Olbermann by 279K. Are the walls closing in around you Billy?

The first full week after Olbermann's NBC appearance, Countdown spiked 17% over its 2nd quarter 2007 average. This week that bump is 37%, so there is no evidence that this train is losing speed. The Factor, on the other hand, is still under-performing its 2nd quarter average by 16%. O'Reilly is quickly becoming the Little Train That Couldn't.

A key point in this victory is that, while last week's success was achieved with O'Reilly on vacation, this week Bill was on duty and he still got his loofah handed to him. Also, for the record, Olbermann appeared during halftime on the Saints-Colts game which might have given him an extra push. And the week was shortened by the Labor Day holiday (Countdown did not air but O'Reilly did. The Factor pulled in just 329K which was its 2nd worst number for the week).

All of this leads me to quote from the insightful analysis of truly visionary media scholar:

Hopefully NBC will recognize what’s happening here. And it isn’t just that Olbermann is a phenomenon who warrants additional network attention (although that’s true). It is also that there is a vastly underserved market for mainstream progressive news that is factual and compelling. That is a message that all of the media should heed and act on. It’s time to stop coddling losers like Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson. It’s time to stop pandering to rightist, corporate media. It’s time to start reshaping the media into something more diverse and representative of America.

 Mark @ News Corpse ~ September 4, 2007

By the way...Happy Birthday Bill-O. And a hat tip to ticket punch who scooped me on this (but only because I was wasting time making that pretty picture above ;-) ).

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Originally posted to KingOneEye on Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 06:16 PM PDT.

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