FNC was the Top Cable News Channel for Breaking Boston Marathon Bombing Coverage on Monday Afternoon

Categories: Cable News Ratings

Written By

April 16th, 2013


Monday afternoon, when the news of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing broke, more viewers tuned to FNC for updates than CNN or MSNBC. During the 3PM hour, Shepard Smith's coverage drew 1.962 million Total Viewers and 542,000 viewers in the key Adults 25-54 demographic. At 4PM FNC continued to garner the most viewers.

Hour the news broke: 3PM ET

FNC (3:07-4PM): 1,961,000 total viewers (542,000 in 25-54)

CNN: 970,000 total viewers (349,000 in 25-54)

MSNBC: 435,000 total viewers (129,000 in 25-54)


First full hour following the breaking news: 4PM ET

FNC: 3,072,000 total viewers (874,000 in 25-54)

CNN: 2,446,000 total viewers (868,000 in 25-54)

MSNBC: 708,000 total viewers (217,000 in 25-54)


  • lbles

    Life must suck when you’re in third place.

    I know that the anchors really are out of touch with what’s happing.

  • John

    Shouldn’t this post also mention that CNN won every hour in the demo from 5:00 – midnight?

  • Doug

    Too bad it’s really the demo that matters (as is repeated on this site over and over again), and in that case, CNN kicked butt.

  • AppleStinx

    It’s surprising that FNC was on top in both total and demo viewers when the news broke, beating MSNBC and CNN combined.

  • Borris O’Tool

    MSNBC least viewd/trusted when it comes to hard news. In crisis people turn to the news outlets that they trust most.What you are seeing is the legacy of editing video clips like Maddow did to McCain

  • Mark2


    The title should read:

    “CNN was the Top Cable News channel for the Boston Marathon Bombing during the Evening. ”

    CNN won the key 25-54 demo for every single hour between 5-11 PM.

    -Of course Sara or this website won’t mention that, they’ll just cherry pick 2 time slots out of the 9 time slots.

    -CNN won 7 of the 9 time slots in the key demo.

  • Ralph Hahn

    @John: In the past, CNN would also win first place in serious breaking news. But, I notice in the hour-by-hour breakdown that FOX is right on CNN’s heels. If the trend continues, Fox will be the undisputed #1 in regular and breaking news.

  • Ralph Hahn

    Fox ended up winning overall because the hours between 3-5pm were included. “Studio B,” primarily a news program, was on the air live at the time with Shepard Smith. If we’re talking about the very beginning of the bombing coverage shortly after 3PM, then, yes, these numbers and hours should be included with prime time.

  • a p garcia

    Way to go FNC!

  • Mark2

    Also, NBC News beat all of these Cable shows.

    NBC News drew 8.9 million viewers.

    Ouch!!! That’s gonna leave a mark!

  • joel

    I guess the initial reaction is related to the rubberneck phenomenon. People prefer the sensational National Enquirer version, looking for conspiracy theories for the entertainment value.

  • Jacob

    NBC news was during primetime hours, right after the voice anyways.

  • Mike

    If people didn’t constantly point out what articles do not say and cry and whine about it — and increase the page views for this site — then the reporters of this site would have no reason to feed you. But they do and you bite so it will continue.

    They get more page views out of this article than if they had printed both articles because liberals and conservatives don’t know how to quit whining and crying when they are ignored.

  • TheBoss1

    Is this some sort of right-wing media site? I ask that question in all earnestness, because there always seem to be these posts/releases proclaiming the greatness of Fox News. I’m not talking about the posters on this site whose lives seem to revolve around everything Fox News.

    I’m talking about why this site ALWAYS posts how great is Fox News. The ONLY time that there is a post about CNN or MSNBC, it is about how they are failing and getting crappy ratings.

    I’d like Bill Gorman to answer this question, because he seems to be some sort of moderator or person in-the-know on this site.

    To prove my point, CNN kicked Fox New’s ratings butt EVERY hour in PRIMETIME last night. Every single hour, and it wasn’t even close. But where is the headline boasting that for CNN? You won’t find one. But you find one boasting that Fox News was the ratings leader as the story broke yesterday.

    This site seems to definitely tilt rightward in favor of Fox News. Does Fox News pay for this site? Do they pay for this site to exist? Why is there such bias?

    I’d like someone who runs this site to give me an honest answer.


  • TheBoss1

    Speaking of Fox News, have they started blaming President Obama for the Boston Marathon bombing yet? If not, I’m sure it won’t be too long.

  • DB

    Boss, dems are blaming the sequester and since that was Obama’s idea I guess they are blaming Obama not Fox News.

  • Ralph Hahn

    @Boss1: I don’t know if these “stories” we comment on are from network press releases of written by people like Sara Bibel. From my experience, if you’re just posting a news release or a story, you publish the source. You don’t give yourself a byline.

    Usually, in the “Late Night” blog here, it always appears that it’s an NBC press release, stating that Leno & Fallon are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    I personally would rather comments on “just the facts, man” stories and let us draw our own conclusions instead of a slanted press release.

    Don’t know if that is happening here, but if it is just posting a press release, no
    one gets a byline.


    I can’t watch MSNBC without Rachel Maddow & Chris hitting us over the head on how evil the republicans are… their have a lowsly team of “contributors” I must add.

  • AppleStinx

    CNN traditionally is the cable news channel to go to for breaking news of this magnitude. That they lost (big time) both in total and A25-54 demo viewers is news. As dust settled, I wouldn’t consider news updates in the following hours as “breaking news”.

  • TheBoss1

    Wow, Apple, you can really spin a story. You sure you don’t work for Fox News?

    The fact of the matter is that most people get home from work between 5 – 6. I know I did not hear about the “breaking story” until after 5:00. Most people, normal people, have a job which prevents them from watching breaking news between 3:00 – 4:00 in the afternoon.

    Fox winning in that time period is not shocking, as a lot of their audience is retired or working out of the home.

    Primetime is most important. It garners the most advertisement revenue dollars.

    Where’s the CNN headline about it winning decisively in every primetime news hour?

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