When news of the LAX shooting broke, more viewers tuned to Shepard Smith and his Fox News Deck to find out what was going on than to CNN and MSNBC combined, during the peak hours of the breaking news, 10-1 PM PT. That’s in keeping with FNC’s position relative to its cable news competition in that block of time during the third quarter. That day, FNC logged 1.549 million viewers from 10-1 PM, which was 46% better than its 3rd quarter average in the time period. CNN clocked 807,000 viewers – a 46% spike. MSNBC logged 409,000 viewers – a more modest 13% jump. In the news demo, FNC (292,000) also beat CNN (233,000) and MSNBC (86,000). But CNN’s demo results marked a 60% hike; FNC’s numbers climbed 47%. MSNBC, meanwhile fell 16%.
That night, in primetime FNC (2.042 million) trounced CNN (621,000) and MSNBC (609,000) as well. FNC’s primetime audience grew by 34% compared to 3rd quarter, CNN’s by 32% and MSNBC’s by 25%. In the news demo, FNC (323,000) grew 20%, but CNN (141,000) fell 1%; MSNBC (167,000) grew 13%.