According to a Reuters report, MSNBC experienced a decline in ratings as news of last Friday’s shooting at a Colorado movie theater spread across cable news. Fox News and CNN both experienced a jump during their coverage of the big story, with Fox News beating out both CNN and MSNBC, and CNN raking in 1.1 million more viewers than it had the week before:
Nielsen ratings data for July 20–the day James Holmes went on a shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 and injured 58 people–shows that MSNBC’s audience during the key prime time hours were below its own average for the previous four Fridays.
MSNBC’s total primetime audience–or those who tuned into the network from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm on July 20–fell 17 percent compared to the previous four Fridays to 575,000 people. During the same timeframe, CNN’s audience was up 125 percent at 1.1 million viewers while the No. 1 cable news network Fox News’ audience was up 11 percent at 2 million viewers, according to Nielsen research.
The report goes on to quote Horizon media analyst Brad Adgate, who shared that media watchers usually observe “casual news viewers will tune to CNN to find late breaking bulletins and coverage.”
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that the network had a few replacements subbing in for its big names that night, including Rachel Maddow, consistently a strong ratings draw within the network’s primetime lineup.
h/t Chicago Tribune
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