Fox News Channel Tops Primetime As Cable News Nets React Variously To On-Air Shooting

CNN’s flood-the-zone strategy with its on-air coverage of the Virginia TV crew killing yesterday brought it a 47% primetime news demo spike compared to its calendar year to date average. The cable news net jumped in primetime from 198,000 news demo viewers to 292K. But Fox News Channel, with a non-flood-the-zone news strategy in prime, jumped 48%, from 422K to 626K. FNC beat CNN and MSNBC (up 19% to 155K) combined.

Similar story in overall audience, where Fox News was appointment viewing to 2.6 million – up 21% compared to its primetime YTD average of 2.14M. CNN jumped 28%, from 574K to 736K. But CNN got bested by MSNBC’s 849K, which was a surge of 33% relative to its YTD 638K.

This marked FNC’s highest-rated regular programming since April at the height of the Baltimore riots. FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor was the No. 1 program for the night in total viewers (3.12M), while The Kelly File, featuring an interview with the father of one of the on-air shooting victims, ranked No. 1 in the key demo (678K). Last night’s The Kelly File enjoyed its highest rated-demo since Kelly’s much-ballyhooed exclusive sit-down with Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar back in June.

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