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Viewers go for revamped News

Condit-Levy investigation helps news nets' ratings rise

NEW YORK — The critics might have panned it, but Headline News fared well with viewers in August.

Despite the largely negative reviews, the revamped news net averaged 155,000 households in primetime and 153,000 households in total day, an increase of 8% and 14%, respectively, compared with last August, according to Nielsen numbers.

In adults 25-54, the net, which re-launched Aug. 6, saw a meager 3% increase in total day (up to 76,000) and dipped 3% in primetime (to 83,000).

Meanwhile, coverage of Gary Condit and the Chandra Levy case continued to generate big ratings for all the cable news nets in August, with Fox News seeing the biggest year-to-year increases.

CNN’s flagship network was the most-watched cable news net for the month, but it was also the only newsie to see decreases over last year. Last year, both the Democratic and Republican conventions took place in August.

In primetime, CNN averaged 606,000 households, down 1% compared with last August, while Fox News averaged 498,000 households — a whopping 72% jump. MSNBC averaged 285,000 households, an improvement of 8% over the same time last year.

In the key news demo of adults 25-54, during primetime CNN averaged 190,000, a dip of 15% compared with last August, while Fox News averaged 153,000, an increase of 20%. MSNBC jumped 4% to 172,000.

During total day, Fox News continued to give CNN a run for its money. The upstart news net averaged 274,000 households, compared with CNN’s 294,000 households even though CNN is in approximately 15 million more homes.

The numbers represented a dramatic 106% improvement for Fox News and a 1% decline for CNN from last August. MSNBC averaged 196,000 households, an increase of 31% over last year during the same period.

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