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Fox News set to win key age group

June 27, 2008|Matea Gold | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Fox News is poised to reclaim the title of the most-watched cable news network in the key advertising demographic in the second quarter of 2008.

The cable channel attracted the most 25- to 54-year-old viewers in prime time this quarter, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research data, drawing an average of 346,000 in that age group.

CNN, which was buoyed to first place last quarter by the presidential primaries, is back in second place with an average of 301,000 viewers. MSNBC is in third with 269,000. (Final numbers will be available next week.)

CNN's win in the key demographic in the first quarter of 2008 marked the first such victory for the cable news network in more than six years, and its success with political coverage animated executives.

Bill Shine, Fox News' senior vice president for programming, said his network was back on top in the second quarter because "we do better television than anybody else."

Still, CNN's viewership in the second quarter was up 24% in the key demographic compared with the same period last year, while Fox News was down 1%. MSNBC's audience was also up, rising 46% year-to-year.

"The trends are clearly in our favor," said CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson.

Overall, Fox News continues to pull in the largest cable news audience, drawing an average of 1.6 million prime-time viewers so far this quarter. CNN is in second with 977,000, while MSNBC pulled in 690,000.

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matea.gold@latimes.com

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