CNN had a surge in ratings Tuesday night as the channel split time between covering the Christopher Dorner manhunt in California and President Obama’s State of the Union address, reports The New York Times’ Media Decoder.
While overall ratings for the State of the Union address were down, CNN’s were up 36% from the speech a year earlier in total viewers, the story notes.
"More significantly, CNN was the easy winner among the three cable news networks in reaching viewers in the category that generates the most ad sales for news programming: viewers between the ages of 25 and 54," the piece notes.
In total viewers CNN drew 3.635 million for the hour of the speech, up from 2.670 million a year ago. That compares with 3.683 million for Fox News (down from 3.812 million) and 3.034 for MSNBC (up from 2.815 million), the story adds.
“But in the 25-to-54 group, Fox News fell to third place with 957,000 viewers,” The Times reports. “CNN had a big edge with 1.436 million in that category. MSNBC had 1.028 million.”
The piece notes: “CNN generally does especially well during breaking news stories, and the speech followed closely the coverage of the police shootout with the fugitive Christopher Dorner in the snowy forest near Big Bear Lake in California.”
As the start of the State of the Union approached Tuesday night, CNN referred viewers to its sister channel HLN to follow developments in the Dorner case while the flagship channel focused on the speech.