Fox News Channel was the cable channel of choice for Americans eager for news about the Fort Hood massacre Thursday night according to Bill Gorman of TV by the Numbers.
Similar to election night coverage two days earlier, in overwhelming numbers viewers turned to "the non news network," as President Barack Obama's strategists Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod derisively labeled it, for information and updates on the unfolding tragedy.
CNN's fourth place primetime finish during Tuesday's off year election could perhaps be explained away because "nobody cared about it, but the Ft. Hood murders yesterday were the kind of big event that would typically send casual news viewers flocking to CNN. However, as the Ft. Hood news was unfolding, CNN found itself in a distant second place in the ratings.
Here's a 3pm-12am time period slice of the data we don't normally see:3PM-12AM
FNC: 3,039,000 in P2+ (837,000 in 25-54)
CNN: 1,576,000 in P2+ (471,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 820,000 in P2+ (248,000 in 25-54)
HLN: 428,000 in P2+ (177,000 in 25-54)
And those in the age 25-54 bracket are the type advertisers, and subsequently networks, typically desire - they have the money to spend and the means to get what they want. (Over 54? Don't fret; as the many 54+ tea partiers demonstrated they have money and means to make their voices known also.)
As Don Surber pointed out
Interestingly enough, "Special Report" on Fox News at 6 PM drew 3.3 million viewers, up from 2.2 million the night before, a gain of 1.1 million viewers.
"Situation Room" on CNN at 6 PM drew 1.4 million up from 443,000 the night before, a gain of 1 million.That's pretty good considering both networks are up against local and national news at 6 PM.
These latter figures seems to indicate more viewers are turning to cable news for solid, breaking news reports and updates. Will the White House notice?
hat tip: Lucianne.com