As missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 rubberneckers begin to fall away, owing to lack of substantial new developments, Fox News Channel recovered the top spot yesterday in total day and from 7-11 PM, aka extended primetime, in both overall audience and the news demo. It’s the first time in days that FNC has dominated extended primetime in both metrics, as CNN enjoyed big ratings boost with the missing-plane story. That said, CNN remains far more competitive than calendar year to date – at 7 PM, for instance, Erin Burnett OutFront came in less than 20,000 demo viewers behind FNC’s On The Record With Greta Van Susteren (248,000 and 267,000, respectively). And, Piers Morgan Live, hosted by Bill Weir, clocked 379,000 demo viewers, which is a respectable retention of Anderson Cooper’s 383,000. That’s good news for Weir, who is one of the candidates to replace Morgan in the time slot.
That said, CNN won with insomniacs at 11 PM ET, midnight, and 1 AM, when word broke that large objects thought to be possible airplane debris had been spotted floating a couple thousand miles off the southwest coast of Australia and crews were sent by sea and air to investigate. CNN logged its biggest crowd of the day from 11:54-midnight when 1.26 million – 480,000 demo viewers — tuned in for the update.
FNC snagged 1.3 million total-day viewers (291,000 in the demo) and 2 million in primetime (383,000 demo). CNN logged 688,000 total-day viewers (243,000 demo) and 880,000 primetime viewers (325,000 demo). MSNBC averaged 413,000 total-day viewers (115,000 demo) and 802,000 primetime viewers (196,000 demo).