CNN’s former dominance in coverage of major international crises is long gone. Fox News leads the cable news ratings for the coverage of the unrest in Egypt so far by a wide margin, but the continuous coverage of the turmoil in Cairo has lifted CNN from No.3 to No.2 in most categories. From Monday through Thursday, Fox News drew 2.5 million viewers (628,000 in adults 25-54) in primetime and 1.2 million (344,000) in total day. CNN’s averages were: primetime (959,000; 341,000 in 25-45) and total day (620,000; 213,000 in 25-54), MSNBC drew 961,000 (254,000 in 25-54) in primetime and 486,000 (134,000 in 25-54) in total day. Vs. their January averages, CNN posted the biggest ratings bump, up 43% in total viewers in primetime. It was followed closely by Fox News, up 38%, while MSNBC didn’t gain a lot, up 16%.
The much publicized Cairo attack on CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday led to a rare win for his AC 360 program that night in the 25-54 demographic (409,000) over Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren (342,000) and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (231,000). Van Susteren still won the 10 PM in total viewers by a comfortable margin (1.7 million vs. 1.2 million) By Thursday night, Cooper’s demo advantage was pretty much gone, averaging 446,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic vs. 443,000 for Van Susteren.