Sniper Boosts News Nets' Ratings

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Wall-to-wall coverage of the Washington, D.C.-area sniper shootings helped
the all-news networks more than double their average audience this past
week.

Cable News Network saw the biggest increases, drawing 872,000 households
during the total-day period from Oct. 18 through 23. That topped the 441,000
households CNN averaged in September by 98 percent.

But Fox News Channel, which drew saw its household count increase by 66
percent during the same time frame, drew the most households, with 913,000.

MSNBC saw its household count jump by 70 percent during the six-day period,
drawing 352,000 homes.

Fox News, MSNBC and CNN pulled their biggest ratings Wednesday, the day
police released the names of the two suspects in the sniper attacks.

Fox News reunited some key figures from the O.J. Simpson trial for its
coverage. Its guests included former Los Angeles Police Department detective
Mark Furman and Michael Baden, a medical examiner who worked for the defense
team in the Simpson case.

They were interviewed by Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren, whose TV career
took off while she worked for CNN during the Simpson trial.

Again, Fox News dominated Wednesday, drawing 1.4 million households in the
total-day period. CNN pulled 1.1 million households that day, and MSNBC had
567,000.

CNN's guests Wednesday included former Philadelphia police chief John Timoney
and forensic psychologist Harley Stock.

Fox News, CNN and MSNBC saw their biggest gains in the 18-through-49
demographic. Fox News drew 376,000 households Oct. 18 through 23, up 103 percent
from its September average for that demographic. CNN drew 371,000 of those
viewers (up 152 percent), while MSNBC pulled 172,000 (up 77
percent).

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