Networks Top Ratings With Storm Coverage

CNN's Marciano brings power to locals, Weather Channel surges

CNN may have had its troubles in recent months, but it's gaining ground in terms of pure goodwill. Network meteorologist Rob Marciano was out on Wednesday with a satellite truck in storm-battered lower Manhattan where he and his crew had power strips available to literally powerless locals needing to charge cellphones.

The network was on top in a more traditional way on Monday. For the first time in a long time, it beat competitors Fox News and MSNBC in the 25-54 demo in both prime time (1.09 million to FNC's 875,000 and MSNBC's 477,000) and total day (546,000 to FNC's 528,000 and MSNBC's 260,000), though it lagged FNC in total viewers in both categories.

It's been a bittersweet few days for the Weather Channel, another network with viewership that fluctuates wildly depending on breaking news.

Two weeks after laying off 7 percent of its workforce, the network had its biggest day of the year on Monday, with an all-day average of 2.04 million viewers and a healthy 800,000 viewers in its key demographic, adults 25-54. It was also, notably, the highest-delivering cable network in that demo from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and outperformed all of cable news all day in the key demo.

It was the Weather Channel's highest delivery all year, though it didn't top the tune-in stats logged during last year's Hurricane Irene. A likely culprit on that score: millions of New Yorkers without power on the south end of the island and in Brooklyn—areas where, to put it mildly, the weather is a serious concern.