What a Difference a Day Makes: CNN Tops MSNBC Day After NY Times Says Audience Has ‘Faded’

By Alex Weprin 

On Friday, we linked to a NY Times article by Bill Carter about CNN’s ratings, focusing on data from Wednesday, April 6. The premise was that when breaking news slows, CNN slips to third place.

As Thursday night’s ratings showed however, CNN still has the power to outdraw MSNBC, even when breaking news is not in the cards.

Whereas on Wednesday CNN finished  behind MSNBC in the demo in primetime, on Thursday it handily topped its competitor in the demo in both total day and prime. CNN drew 211K adults 25-54 in total day to MSNBC’s 155K, and 320K in prime to MSNBC’s 273K.

The audience retention plan referenced in the item last week should still be a big part of CNN’s strategy going forward, especially with Summer approaching, but the channel has shown that it should not be written off yet, even as interest in international news has slowed.