The news networks are all still reaping high ratings from their coverage
of the terrorist attacks, but CNN's big lead over Fox News Channel has narrowed.
For months the networks had run neck-and-neck in
But during the terrorist attacks and first two weeks following them, CNN
bolted to the forefront.
For the week ended Sept. 23, CNN posted a 2.8 cable household rating in prime
time versus Fox's 2.1.
That's a 33% lead. CNN's 1.8 total-day rating beat Fox's 1.3 by 38%.
But as the story has moved away from breaking news,
Fox's specialty, commentary and chat, has narrowed CNN's lead 12-18% in prime
and 20-30% for the total day.
Still, even the narrower lead is a big improvement for CNN, which was actually falling behind the upstart Fox over the summer when the Condit-Levy story held sway.
MSNBC, which has been a ratings afterthought for years,
has drawn bigger audiences and on several total days actually beaten Fox.
But Fox is still beating MSNBC badly in prime time. - John M. Higgins