Fox News, TWC Storm the Nielsens

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Fox News Channel led the all-news networks in ratings Sunday for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina, outdrawing the combined audiences of rivals Cable News Network and MSNBC.

Only The Weather Channel, which set a new total-day record on Sunday with a 2.2 rating, managed to top the news network in ratings for hurricane coverage, according to Nielsen Media Research figures supplied by the networks.

In total-day ratings, Fox News posted a 2.1 rating and 1.8 million households on Sunday, easily beating CNN’s 1.0 rating and 909,000 households and MSNBC’s 0.5 rating and 418,000 households.

Fox News also dominated primetime, posting a 3.3 rating and 2.9 million households. That beat CNN’s 2.0 rating and 1.8 million households and MSNBC’s 1.0 rating and 825,000 households in primetime.

Ratings for all three networks increased on Monday, after the storm hit Louisiana and Mississippi. Fox News posted its biggest numbers of 2005, drawing a 2.6 total-day rating and 2.1 million households. That topped CNN’s 1.8 rating and 1.6 million households and MSNBC’s 0.7 rating and 599,000 households during the time period.