The gap narrowed as the week went on, but CNN's wall-to-wall coverage of the terrorist attacks continued to beat Fox News in the Nielsen ratings.
CNN averaged a 4.5 Nielsen household rating Tuesday through Friday, versus a 3.2 for FNC. The networks have pretty much tied in household ratings in recent months. Almost as big a gainer is MSNBC, which scored a 2.4 rather than its usual position of badly lagging FNC. On a 24-hour basis, CNN's average totalled a 3.2 versus 2 for FNC and 1.4 for MSNBC.
However, CNN's lead shrank as the week went on. On Tuesday, the day of the attack, CNN's 24-hour rating was 85% more than FNC's. By Friday, that lead had shrunk to 26%.
- John M. Higgins