With disaster comes opportunity. But anybody wondering if Miami homeboy Rick Sanchez might be the beneficiary of the plummeting primetime ratings at CNN should stop: It's not going to happen. Sanchez's afternoon show expanded into the 8 p.m. time slot last month when Campbell Brown left the air after chalking up some remarkably awful Nielsen results. But Sanchez's numbers have been even worse.
He's averaging well under half a million viewers at 8 p.m. and just 133,000 in the target 25-to-54 age demographic, both numbers 40 percent lower than Campbell's performance during the same dates last year. Sanchez's tiny numbers were a major factor in CNN finishing in fifth place among news networks in the demos on Monday night, lagging behind not only Fox News, MSNBC and CNN's corporate cousin, but CNBC -- a business-news channel that loses almost its entire audience at night.
It wouldn't have been fair to expect much in the way of ratings for Sanchez's evening show, which a stop-gap measure with little promotion that's just filling the time until CNN can get its new Crossfire-ish program with Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer up and running this fall. But these Death Valley ratings -- coupled with the fact that his afternoon Nielsen's aren't all that hot, either -- virtually ensure that Sanchez won't get a look if CNN decides to pull the plug on any of its other primetime shows.
UPDATE: Collectors of Rick Sanchez lore will enjoy this bit, from his days at MSNBC.