CABLE NEWS RATINGS: Fox Tops Again; Zahn Goes Out with a Bang


Fox News Channel was again the No. 1 cable news network for the August ratings period. But some unexpected results also bubbled up with the ratings book, which covers the period from July 30 to Aug. 26, 2007.

The last broadcasts of the recently-departed Paula Zahn Now, which had only four airings during the ratings period, turned out to be among CNN’s highest-rated programs for the month in the 25-54 demographic, behind only the documentary series CNN Presents.

In primetime, FNC averaged 1.43 million viewers and 356,000 million in news target demo of 25 to 54-year-olds, according to Nielsen, followed by CNN with 967,000 viewers (301,000 million in the demo) and MSNBC with 512,000 viewer (210,000 in the demo).

And although FNC was up in total viewers and the demo compared to July, the network saw a fall off of 4% in viewers (16 % in the demo) in primetime compared to the same period last year. CNN was up 7 % in viewers (3 % in the demo) compared to the same period last year, while MSNBC was up 38 % in total viewers (and 35 % in the demo).

CNBC also saw significant growth this month compared to the same time last year. Headline News also posted gains, growing its total audience by 9 % (16 % in the demo) in primetime compared to the same period last year.

For all the talk about CNN (and Zahn’s) also-ran status at 8 p.m., CNN actually finished ahead of MSNBC at 8 p.m. Zahn’s remaining four shows and Out in the Open, which has replaced it, beat MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann in total viewers (727,000 versus 638,000) and the demo (242,000 versus 218,000), based on live Nielsen numbers. 

FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor was No. 1 at 8 p.m. in total viewers (2.09 million) and the demo (420,000).

Buoyed by Christiane Amanpour’s three-part series God’s Warriors, CNN Presents was the network’s top program in total viewers (1.69 million) followed by Larry King Live (1.23 million) and Palau Zahn Now which averaged 980,000 viewers in its four airings.