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‘O’Reilly Factor’ Gets Ratings Boost From President Interview

Sep 29, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The first of a three-part interview with President Bush boosted “The O’Reilly Factor” to its highest viewership in 2004, an average of 4.58 million viewers, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. The “Factor’s” performance helped Fox News Channel achieve a prime-time average viewership Monday of 3 million people, up dramatically from the channel’s prime-time average of 1.753 million viewers during the third quarter.

The third-quarter data results reported by all-news networks Tuesday showed Fox achieving yet another milestone: For the entire quarter, Fox beat all its cable competition — CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN Headline News — combined in prime time, in addition to posting 23 percent year-to-year growth and claiming nine of the top 10 cable news shows.

CNN, whose “Larry King Live” ranked sixth among cable news shows for the quarter, posted viewership gains ranging from 8 percent for “Wolf Blitzer Reports” to 26 percent for “Lou Dobbs Tonight” and 27 percent for “Larry King.”

“Anderson Cooper 360” averaged 527,000 viewers throughout the third quarter (a year-to-year increase of some 19 percent), which gave the CNN show a slim margin over “Hardball With Chris Matthews,” which averaged 520,000 in its regular time slot (a year-to-year increase of 91 percent). Leading the news channel pack 7-8 p.m. is “The Fox Report With Shepard Smith,” which averaged 1.56 million viewers, a 24 percent increase year to year.

While MSNBC still finds itself in third place, its year-to-year growth in prime time was the most dramatic of the third quarter cable news race: 55 percent. Fox improved its prime-time performance by 39 percent, while CNN notched 19 percent growth year to year.