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Cable news nets mostly down in Nov. viewership

CNN believes revamped working, sees strong adult ratings

Viewership at the cable news nets was largely down again in November, and CNN did better than Fox News Channel in holding onto its key news demo.

CNN touted its strength in retaining adults 25-54 as proof that its revamped programming lineup is working.

In primetime, CNN was up 3% in the demo; while Fox News was down a staggering 26%. In total-day, CNN was down 3% in the demo, while Fox News was down 11%.

Fox News countered by saying it still dominated the competish in overall viewers across nearly every timeslot. In terms of sheer numbers, Fox News still beat CNN even in adults 25-54, averaging 372,000 viewers in primetime to CNN’s average of 256,000. In total-day, Fox News averaged 259,000 adults 25-54, while CNN averaged 165,000.

Also, Fox News was the only net that wasn’t down in total-day vs. last year. According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News averaged 774,000 viewers, up 2% from last year.

Primetime brought bad news for everyone in terms of audience flight. Fox News averaged 1.3 million viewers, down 10% from last year, according to Nielsen.

CNN averaged 854,000 viewers in primetime, down 7% from last year. MSNBC averaged 288,000 viewers, down a sizable 24%. CNN Headline News averaged 194,000 viewers in primetime, down 19%, according to Nielsen.

In total-day, financial cable news net CNBC averaged 190,00 viewers, a 12% drop from last year. During primetime, CNBC suffered a sharp dropoff of 28% compared to last year, averaging 156,000 viewers.

In primetime, Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” at 8 p.m. won its time period in overall viewers (2 million), easily beating CNN’s “Paula Zahn” (663,000). Nevertheless, “O’Reilly” saw a hefty 36% dropoff in adults 25-54 from last year. In overall aud, he was down 15% from last year.

In terms of overall viewers, Zahn’s show was down 18% from November 2002, when “Connie Chung Tonight” was still airing in that slot. The show was down 8% in adults 25-54.

At 9 p.m., CNN’s “Larry King Live” won its frame, enjoying a 30% spike in adults 25-54.

At 7 p.m., CNN’s relatively new “Anderson Cooper: 360 Degrees” was down 29% in overall aud compared to last year, when the political “Crossfire” had the timeslot. Still, Cooper’s show was up 9% in adults 25-54.

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