Cable channel beat CNN in 1st quarter

MSNBC is the latest cable channel to go high def, announcing Thursday at the Cable Show in Washington, D.C., that it will begin 1080i distribution of its signal starting June 29.

Announcement comes amid a big week for the NBC U network, which just finished the first quarter ahead of rival CNN for the first time in a key cable-news audience benchmark, primetime viewership for adults 25-54.

Averaging 346,000 viewers in that demo for the quarter, MSNBC narrowly nipped CNN, which was down 20% in the category for the period, averaging 343,000 viewers.

Earlier in the week, MSNBC announced that veteran radio personality Ed Schultz would be given his own show.

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