THE BLOG

Election Week's Ratings: Giving the Independents What They Want

11/14/2012 04:23 pm ET | Updated Jan 14, 2013

The late Harry Cohn, who ran Columbia Pictures, famously said "Give the public what they want and they'll come out for it." The public must've wanted Obama for president, because last week they came out in favor of CNN and MSNBC, giving Fox News its worst week in a long time.

Fox News, once again, had more viewers than any single cable news network, but MSNBC beat Fox News in every category and CNN by itself beat Fox News in four of the six demographics. In primetime, Fox News boasted 3,420,000 viewers, but CNN and MSNBC between them were viewed by more than 3,600,000 viewers. CNN alone beat Fox in adults 18-49 and 18-34, and was surprisingly close in adults 25-54. The MSNBC/CNN combo had twice as many 18-34s as Fox News did, and 70% more 18-49s. The combo even beat FoxNews two to one with 25-54s.

Total day, Fox News numbers were even worse. CNN and MSNBC had about 300,000 more total viewers than Fox News did . Once again, CNN alone beat Fox in 18-49s and 18-34s. In 18-49s, the combo beat Fox News by about two to one, and in 25-54s, by about 20%.

Obviously, CNN and MSNBC viewers enjoyed last week. Their viewers, largely Obama voters, appreciated the results, and for the first time in a long time, had a chance to boast about something.

I see the results proving something else -- when an important event takes place, occasional news viewers (not the die-hards) turn to CNN for information. I take pride in the fact that occasional news viewers, who I'd like to think of as independent voters, believe that CNN is the most reliable news source. That's what is was supposed to be when we started and I'm proud that some people still think of it that way.