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Debut telecast of CNN's 'New Day' comes in third in ratings

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CNN's "New Day," the morning show the cable news channel launched Monday, averaged 247,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.

That is a 19% drop from what CNN was averaging in the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. time slot this year. However, compared with the same Monday a year earlier, "New Day" was up 15% in total viewers.

Among the adults 25 to 54 demographic that "New Day" is targeting, the show averaged 95,000 viewers.

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Overall, "New Day" finished behind Fox News' "Fox & Friends," which averaged just more than 1 million viewers, and MSNBC's "Morning Joe," which averaged 355,000 viewers.

Developing a strong morning show is one of new CNN President Jeff Zucker's top priorities. Zucker rose to prominence running NBC's "Today Show" when it was on top of the ratings.

"New Day" is anchored by Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan. During the show's maiden telecast, it focused heavily on a new CNN poll showing growing disapproval of President Obama. Although there was lighter fare as well, "New Day" steered clear of lifestyle features that have become a hallmark of NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America."

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“We’re going to be a news program,” Zucker said in May. “Even in an Internet age, people are coming to CNN for the news.”

Zucker also downplayed expectations for “New Day,” saying he doesn’t expect monster ratings on the first day or even in its early months.

“It will take time to gel and find itself and evolve,” Zucker said.

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