UPDATE: 1:30 PM: Fox News Channel clocked an average of 2.1 million viewers in primetime Monday night, thumping CNN‘s 847,000 — but CNN came within shooting distance of Fox News in the news demo with its flood-the-zone coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. CNN’s primetime news demo audience: 386,000. Fox News’ primetime news demo crowd: 391,000. To that end, CNN’s Erin Burnett (375,000) edged Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren (342,000) at 7 PM; CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, hosted by Bill Weir (383,000), topped Fox News’ Megyn Kelly (365,000) at 9; and CNN’s Don Lemon (390,000) topped Fox News’ Sean Hannity (359,000) at 10. One big change: Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly (450,000) put an end to CNN star Anderson Cooper’s (385,000) three-night demo winning streak.
PREVIOUS, 12:02 PM: That said, Saturday’s cable news victory went to Fox News Channel for both overall day and primetime, in both the news demo and among viewers of all ages (though CNN prevailed in both metrics between 3-6 PM ET). Sunday, however, CNN scored a demo win for the whole day and in primetime. That’s a first since the wrap-up of the Hannah Anderson kidnapping story in August 2013. Since coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 started, and running through Sunday, CNN averaged 527,000 total viewers and 174,000 news-demo viewers in total day — and 706,000 total viewers and 256,000 news demo viewers in primetime. Compare that to the numbers CNN was clocking for the year to date before the plane went missing: the network had been averaging 314,000 total viewers and 97,000 news demo viewers for total day – 410,000 total viewers and 134,000 news demo viewers in primetime. Bottom line: CNN has climbed 68% in total viewers and 79% in the news demo for total day, and 72% in total viewers and 91% in demo viewers in primetime.