MEDIA
05/04/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Geithner On "Meet The Press" Beats Obama On "Face The Nation"

Even the President couldn't beat "Meet."

NBC's "Meet the Press," which featured Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's first live Sunday morning interview this past week, drew more viewers than CBS' "Face the Nation," which featured President Obama.

"Meet the Press" averaged 3,926,000 total viewers, a six percent edge over "Face the Nation's" average of 3,700,000 total viewers. George Stephanopoulos' interview of Secretary Geithner on ABC's "This Week" drew 3,104,000 million total viewers.

"Meet the Press" and "Face the Nation" tied in the Adults 25-54 demographic with a 1.1 rating.

Sunday's Obama interview was, to be sure, the largest draw "Face the Nation" has seen since January 23, 2005, when Bob Schieffer interviewed John McCain and US ambassador to Baghdad, John Negroponte.

Still, that an interview with the President didn't lift "Face the Nation" to the Sunday morning top spot is surprising.

In January, "This Week" beat "Meet the Press" for the first time since 1999 when George Stephanopoulos interviewed then-President-Elect Obama. That interview drew 4,340,000 total viewers, Obama's appearance on "Meet the Press" in December drew 6,561,000 total viewers.

The relatively low numbers for Schieffer's Obama interview — his "60 Minutes" appearance the week before drew around 16 million viewers — suggest one of two factors may be at play: viewers concerned about the economy may have wanted to hear directly from the Treasury Secretary more than the President, whose constant media presence may have prompted a sort of "Obama Fatigue" (recall the decline in viewership for his most recent press conference). Alternatively CBS News may not have effectively publicized the appearance (though they did air an excerpt on the "CBS Evening News" the Friday evening before).

"Meet the Press" has now won 391 of the past 394 weeks, and it just closed its 46th consecutive quarter at #1 in the Sunday morning ratings race.