Coverage Of Robin Williams’ Death Sends FNC, CNN Ratings Soaring

Yesterday’s death of Robin Williams drove viewers to Fox News Channel and CNN, but MSNBC? Not so much.

Fox News Channel clocked a primetime crowd of 2.394 million viewers – 574,000 in the news demo. In the news demo, FNC jumped 80% compared to its second quarter 2014 average. FNC logged year-best demo numbers at 7, 8, and 9 PM with a primetime that included large swaths of time devoted to the actor’s death and legacy — at 10 PM FNC devoted the hour to Williams, hosted by Shep Smith.

CNN scored 1.425 million primetime viewers, with 568,000 news demo viewers — a whopping 279% spike. The demo tally was CNN’s best since the the network’s George Zimmerman trial verdict coverage more than a year ago. CNN’s night included a rare 8 PM demo win, with Wolf Blitzer filling in for Anderson Cooper on an hour largely devoted to Williams’ death. CNN logged 735,000 demo viewers in the hour, edging FNC’s 688,000, and thumping MSNBC’s 169,000. Last time CNN topped FNC at 8 PM? During its coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, in March.

MSNBC logged 761,000 viewers for primetime last night – 180,000 in the news demo, which is an 18% inch-up.

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