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CNN, Anderson Cooper Ratings Surge In February

Anderson Cooper

First Posted: 03/01/11 02:15 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET

Is CNN experiencing a ratings rebound?

The network had a very strong February —bolstered by its coverage of the wave of popular revolts in the Middle East — growing 31% in total viewers and 55% in the A25-54 demo in weekday primetime compared to February 2010 ratings.

The biggest success was Anderson Cooper, who found himself at the center of the network's Egypt coverage. Cooper topped MSNBC for the first time since June 2010. He beat Ed Schultz in the A25-54 demo (305,000 viewers vs. 234,000) and in total viewers (855,000 vs. 827,000).

Elsewhere, John King had his best month ever, drawing 559,000 viewers, with 1777,000 of them in the demo.

The channel also narrowed the gap between itself and MSNBC. For example, during the fourth quarter of 2010, Larry King's ratings in the demo were 41% behind Rachel Maddow's. In February, the gap between King's replacement, Piers Morgan, and Maddow was 22%. This trend was mirrored by most of CNN's programs.

Of course, that's still a significant gap — and both networks still lag far behind Fox News, which beats its two primary competitors combined. Further, February was an unusually heavy month for breaking news, which tends to boost CNN's ratings significantly. But the network will still be cheering about them.

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Filed by Jack Mirkinson  |