News

News Networks Spin Some August Gold

9/02/2001 8:00 PM Eastern

Fox News Channel is the hottest, Cable News Network is the most-watched, MSNBC is the youngest and CNBC is happy to be beating CNN's Lou Dobbs Moneyline. After the final August ratings were released Tuesday, each news network found something positive to emphasize.

FNC and CNN tied for first place in the total-day category, with both networks averaging 0.4 in the Nielsen Media Research ratings. CNN, which counts more subscribers, pulled 294,000 households, compared with 274,000 for FNC. But while FNC jumped 106 percent in households compared with August 2000, CNN dropped 1 by percent.

CNBC placed third with a 0.3 rating and 238,000 households, followed by sister network MSNBC, which pulled a 0.3 rating and 196,000 households.

CNN Headline News — which relaunched Aug. 6 with new anchors and a new set — placed last, with a 0.2 total-day rating and 153,000 households. But the network stressed that its total-day household count increased 14 percent compared with August 2000 and that it beat MSNBC in the adults 18-plus demographic on six days in August.

In the heated CNN-CNBC business-news rivalry, CNBC's Business Center
topped Moneyline
by 14 percent from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., when the two shows competed head-to-head. Dobbs, who returned to CNN in May, also saw his August ratings drop by 59 percent compared with August 1998, before he had left the network.

But Moneyline
topped Business Center
in the adults 25-through-54 demo by 4 percent, CNN pointed out, delivering 82,000 adults in the category. The network also noted that Moneyline
jumped 50 percent in the ratings and 10 percent in households compared with August 2000.

On Monday, CNN moved the starting time of Moneyline
up to 6 p.m., to match the start of Business Center. Moneyline
pulled 183,000 households Monday in the new slot, falling short of the 239,000 drawn by Business Center.

Although MSNBC trails the competition in ratings, the network boasted that it is drawing the youngest viewers. MSNBC said its viewers have a median age of 50, compared with 62 for FNC and 65 for CNN.

In primetime, CNN and FNC tied for first place, each with a 0.7 rating. CNN's 606,000 average household count topped FNC's 498,000 average, but FNC jumped 72 percent in households while CNN fell 1 percent. MSNBC and CNBC both posted 0.4 ratings in primetime, followed by Headline News, which posted a 0.2 average.

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