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Ratings: Wolf Blitzer’s Steve Jobs Coverage Helps CNN Beat MSNBC On Big News Night

Last night was a big night for news and, perhaps not surprisingly, many more television sets were tuned into CNN as a result. Steve Jobs‘ death, Sarah Palin’s “non-presidential” announcement and the ongoing story of Occupy Wall Street protests combined to give the self-described “Most Trusted Name In News” a ratings victory over MSNBC. Of course, this victory means that the can proudly proclaim that they were the second most watch cable news channel, far behind the still behind first place Fox News.

  • Promotional resources at Piers Morgan Tonight spent the better part of the day touting a “must-see” interview with Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, but CNN called a audible and had Wolf Blitzer fill-in with the news of Jobs’ death. The hustle paid off as the 9PM slot got the biggest number of the evening.
  • Fox News programmers know their audience, many of whom probably didn’t share the same need to watch the instant hagiography of Steve Jobs on the other channels. So it made some sense that they stayed in a pre-taped O’Reilly Factor while MSNBC and CNN were live with news of Jobs’ passing. The big numbers that O’Reilly typically gets were unaffected by this decision.
  • Here are the complete cable news ratings for Tuesday night:

  • TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
    Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
    5 pm The5 

    275

    Blitzer 

    98

    Matthews 

    107

    Special 

    176

    6 pm Baier 

    280

    King, USA 

    99

    Sharpton 

    137

    Prime 

    177

    7 pm Shep 

    436

    Burnett 

    143

    Matthews 

    126

    Issues 

    157

    8 pm O’Reilly 

    643

    Cooper 

    284

    O’Donnell 

    166

    Grace 

    182

    9 pm Hannity 

    502

    Morgan 

    365

    Maddow 

    174

    DrDrew 

    111

    10 pm Van Susteren 

    405

    Cooper 

    387

    Schultz 

    176

    Behar 

    137

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    416

    Cooper 

    569

    O’Donnell 

    102

    Showbiz 

    107

    TOTAL DAY 279 151 97 128
    PRIME TIME 518 346 172 143
    Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
    TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
    Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
    5 pm The5 

    1,458

    Blitzer 

    632

    Matthews 

    557

    Special 

    589

    6 pm Baier 

    1,744

    King, USA 

    484

    Sharpton 

    594

    Prime 

    543

    7 pm Shep 

    1,887

    Burnett 

    510

    Matthews 

    664

    Issues 

    491

    8 pm O’Reilly 

    3,504

    Cooper 

    821

    O’Donnell 

    686

    Grace 

    730

    9 pm Hannity 

    2,280

    Morgan 

    992

    Maddow 

    672

    DrDrew 

    462

    10 pm Greta 

    1,739

    Cooper 

    854

    Ed Show 

    712

    Behar 

    441

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    1,225

    Cooper 

    569

    O’Donnell 

    307

    Showbiz 

    417

    TOTAL DAY 1,221 438 369 361
    PRIME TIME 2,510 889 690 537
    Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data
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