The grand jury may have been singular in its decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, but cable news viewers made a split verdict. With an audience of 7.26 million watching during the 9 PM ET hour, Fox News Channel was the most viewed cable news network when St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch revealed if Wilson would be indicted for shooting Brown this summer. FNC had 1 million more viewers than CNN for the much anticipated news that set off a night of unrest in Ferguson last night.
However, when it came to the much valued adults 25-54 demo, it was the Jeff Zucker run network that came in first place during the vital hour with 3.156 million to FNC’s 2.186 million.
In fact, with MSNBC a far third, the whole night saw both a surge for the cable news networks and a divided decision among cable news viewers. For Monday’s primetime FNC drew in 5.563 million total viewers to CNN’s 5.079 million. But when it came to the demo, like the announcement hour, CNN had the upper hand with 2.627 million to FNC’s 1.653 million. MSNBC had 1.622 million total viewers with 544,000 in the 25-54 demo – close to any recent Monday for the NBCUniversal owned network.
As last night brought more eyeballs to cable news it also delivered a new high to Megyn Kelly’s just over a year old FNC show. The 9 PM The Kelly File topped out its previous viewership high of 4.554 million on September 10 when President Barack Obama gave his speech about efforts to confront ISIS. The emerging jewel in FNC’s crown also hit a new demo high up from the 1.035 million of the early fall speech by the Commander-In-Chief.