Mediaweek’s Anthony Crupi writes up the August numbers…
CNN continued to enjoy significant ratings increases in August as unrest in the Middle East and a foiled terrorist plot sent viewers scrambling to their TV sets.
According to Nielsen Media Research, CNN was up 21 percent in total viewers in prime versus August 2005, with an average audience of 900,000 tuning in during the month. The news net was also up 25 percent in the target 25-54 demo.
Rival Fox News Channel was down 28 percent in prime, averaging 1.51 million viewers versus 2.09 million during August 2005, a period marked by the landfall of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent destruction of New Orleans. FNC was also down 20 percent in its target demo, dropping from .54 million in August 2005 to .43 million this month.
Despite its ratings decreases, FNC still outdrew CNN by more than a half-million viewers in prime time; moreover, the Fox net boasted nine of the top-10 ranked programs on the month, including the perennial No. 1 finisher The O’Reilly Factor, which drew an average 2.07 million viewers in its 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. time slot.