When news broke Friday that presumptive Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain had selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, Fox News Channel was selected by the most viewers in the cable news category.
With the press conference announcing Palin’s selection as GOP Vice President candidate in the noon (ET) hour on Aug. 29, Fox News, which broke the news of McCain's pick, drew 3.86 million watchers, including 1.18 million adults 25 to 54, according to Nielsen Media Research data. That compared with 1.89 million for CNN and 927,000 for MSNBC, which included 679,000 and 349,000 of the aforementioned news demo, respectively.
That night, Fox News officials said the network enjoyed its second best primetime ratings of the year, behind only President George Bush’s Jan. 28 State of the Union Address. On Aug. 29, Fox News notched 3.5 million viewers on average in primetime, versus 1.7 million for CNN and 1.06 million for MSNBC. On the demo watch, the Nielsen tallies showed 941,000 adults 25 to 54 for Fox News, 657,000 for CNN and 340,000 for MSNBC.