CNN’s town hall special “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” lifted CNN head and shoulders above their cable news competition in the Nielsen ratings on Wednesday night.
Airing from 9 p.m.-11 p.m., the town hall drew 2.91 million total viewers. In the same time frame, Fox News averaged 2.45 million and MSNBC averaged 2.31 million. In addition, CNN was also ahead in the key adults 25-54 demographic, with the network nabbing 1.1 million viewers in that demo. That is nearly double Fox News’ haul of 533,000 and more than double MSNBC’s 490,000.
The gun control discussion also resonated with younger viewers, with CNN pulling in 310,000 viewers in the adults 18-34 demo. MSNBC averaged 78,000 in that demo in the same time frame while Fox News averaged 48,000. For the month to date, Fox News is averaging 87,000 viewers during primetime in 18-34, while CNN is averaging 74,000 and MSNBC is averaging 70,000. That means that CNN nearly quadrupled their average during the town hall.
On the digital side, the town hall claimed 1.9 million multi-platform live starts, the largest interest in a CNN town hall on digital platforms on record. Concurrent streams peaked at 350,000 at 10:45PM.
CNN offered the town hall feed to all Florida affiliates, so final numbers including those figures will be available later today.
The town hall, moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper, saw parents and student survivors of the recent Florida high school shooting asking questions of Sens. Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R) of Florida, Rep. Ted Deutch (D, Fla.), and National Rife Association spokesperson Dana Loesch.
The event was emotionally-charged, given the fact that the shooting–in which 17 students were gunned down by a former classmate–had occurred just one week earlier.