Millions Tuned Into Cable News When New Round Of Tornadoes Slammed Oklahoma

By Alex Weprin Comment

Friday evening a new round of tornadoes slammed Oklahoma. The storms killed storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul and colleague Carl Young, and also destroyed The Weather Channel’s Tornado Hunt vehicle, seriously injuring producer Austin Anderson in the process.

Cable news channels, which normally see slow ratings on Friday nights, blew up their planned coverage, and millions of people tuned in to get the latest. Shepard Smith anchored for four hours in primetime on Fox News, while MSNBC canceled all taped programming in favor of live coverage. CNN and The Weather Channel were also live all night.

You can see the full ratings grid in the Scoreboard, here.

Primetime (8-11PM)

Fox News:  2.45M total viewers, 498,000 A25-54

The Weather Channel: 1.22M total viewers, 445,000 A25-54

CNN: 1.20M total viewers, 368,000 A25-54

MSNBC: 615,000 total viewers, 157,000 A25-54

After the jump, the numbers for 8 PM (when the tornadoes first hit), as well as 9 and 10 PM, when the damage became apparent.


Fox News: 3.21M total viewers, 615,000 A25-54

The Weather Channel: 1.17M total viewers, 444,000 A25-54

CNN: 1.05M total viewers, 304,000 A25-54

MSNBC: 690,000 total viewers, 172,000 A25-54


 Fox News: 2.35M total viewers, 492,000 A25-54

The Weather Channel: 1.40M total viewers, 502,000 A25-54

CNN: 1.22M total viewers, 345,000 A25-54

MSNBC:  712,000 total viewers, 178,000 A25-54


Fox News: 1.73M total viewers, 378,000 A25-54

The Weather Channel: 1.40M total viewers, 502,000 A25-54

CNN: 1.30M total viewers, 455,000 A25-54

MSNBC: 441,000 total viewers, 120,000 A25-54