NEW YORK — When the final Nielsen television ratings came out this week showing that CNN's Anderson Cooper edged out his Fox News competition in a key demographic in 2008, the network was quick to crow about it.
On Wednesday, CNN ran full-page ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal touting the fact that the first hour of "Anderson Cooper 360?" won the time period among 25- to 54-year-old viewers, the age group most sought after by advertisers who buy time during news programs.
"#1 in 2008," the ad declared in large type over a photo of Cooper, looking intensely into the distance.
The network's heavy emphasis on a relatively narrow victory speaks to CNN's eagerness to show it is competitive with Fox News, which has dominated the cable news race for the last seven years.
Cooper continued to place second in total audience behind Fox News' "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren," which averaged 1.79 million viewers for the year, the most the program has drawn. "AC 360" attracted 1.32 million viewers and MSNBC's repeat airing of "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" pulled in 725,000, according to Nielsen data provided by Fox News.