Fox News, CNN Trounce MSNBC During Big News Day

Both cable news networks claim victories for coverage of Jeb Bush’s campaign suspension, the Nevada caucus, and another mass shooting on Saturday

Fox News Channel and CNN both have something to celebrate after a big day of news coverage.

MSNBC? Not so much.

Saturday was a major day for cable news, with the Nevada caucus, South Carolina primary, Justice Scalia’s funeral, Jeb Bush dropping out of the GOP race and the mass shootings in Kalamazoo, MI.

Fox News set a record for total viewers during a South Carolina primary, with 3.3 million tuning in to “America’s Election Headquarters” with Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly. Fox News beat CNN (1.90 million) and MSNBC (1.1 million) combined from 4-7 p.m. PT as S.C. results rolled in.

Fox News has now set total-viewers records for coverage of all three states that have handed out GOP delegates so far. FNC also edged CNN in the key news demo of adults age 25-54 during this time period, with MSNBC a distant third.

CNN was the story earlier in the day, finishing No. 1 in the key demo from 12-3 p.m. PT when the Nevada Caucus results came in. CNN averaged 297,000 demo viewers compared to 225,000 for Fox News and only 140,000 for MSNBC. Fox News won total viewers despite the demo loss.

As for full-day coverage, which included Justice Scalia’s funeral and late news of the Kalamazoo shootings, Fox News and CNN can both claim victories. Fox News won total viewers, by averaging nearly 1.96 million followed by CNN’s 1.24 million. MSNBC failed to crack the 1-million average with 718,000 viewers.

CNN won the key demo, averaging 379,000 followed by Fox News’ 362,000. Once again, MSNBC was a distant third, averaging 172,000 in the key demo. Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper anchored CNN’s coverage with Kate Bolduan and John Berman taking over later in the evening.

Additional opportunities for big ratings are coming soon, with tomorrow’s GOP Nevada caucus and Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

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