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Murray verdict lifts syndie mags

"ET," "Inside Edition" set the ratings pace on Nov. 7

When Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Conrad Murray, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Nov. 7, ratings spiked for all six of syndication’s entertainment magazines.

CBS Television Distribution’s “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” each gained 14%, with “ET” leading the genre at a 3.3 household rating/7 share in Nielsen’s weighted metered-markets. “The Insider,” in last place among magazines, still climbed to a 1.6/4.

While both “ET” and “Insider” benefited from their Murray coverage, they’ve also been seeing ratings gains thanks to Lindsay Lohan’s constant legal problems as well as her pending Playboy spread.

Also have been scoring with viewers are stories about Mariah Yeater, who claims to be carrying teen sensation Justin Bieber’s child.

“Inside Edition,” CBS Television Distribution’s third, but less entertainment-focused, magazine, gained 13% to a 2.7/6, ranking it second among the magazines. “Inside Edition’s” chief correspondent, Jim Moret, was the first to report in July 2009 that Murray could be investigated for involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson the surgical anesthetic Propofol as a sleep aid, said a spokeswoman for the show.

NBCUniversal’s “Access Hollywood” climbed 10% to a 2.2/5 to take third place overall in the genre, and saw ratings spikes in major markets including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta.

“Hiring former federal prosecutor Mary Fulginiti was the big separator for us,” says Rob Silverstein, exec producer of “Access Hollywood. “She had connections to both the prosecution and the defense,”

Warner Bros.’ two magazines, “TMZ” and “Extra,” got the biggest bumps in the genre. “TMZ,” which had been all over everything Michael Jackson since breaking the news in June 2009 that the pop singer had died, surged 21% to a 1.7/4. “Extra,” meanwhile, climbed 19% to a 1.9/4 for fourth place among the syndie entertainment mags.

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