CNN Is No. 1 Cable News Network – You Just Have to Know Where to Look

TheWrap’s multi-platform study shows CNN reaches a decisively bigger audience than Fox News and MSNBC

fox news cnn msnbc

Step aside, Fox News — there’s a new No. 1 in cable news. Sort of.

Aside from an atypically large breaking news boost from exhaustive coverage of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in March, CNN has steadily been runner-up in the total day cable news ratings battle. In primetime, it’s regularly been third, trailing MSNBC.

But TheWrap‘s study across multiple platforms shows that in other measurements, CNN is crushing its competition — so who is really on top? Clearly, leadership is in the eye of the beholder.

Also read: How CNN Caught Its Alleged Plagiarist – With Google

Below are the results of a multi-platform comparison, which includes most-recent data for each category. The roll-ups depicted in the chart are aggregates of a group of sites with either common ownership, ad sales, or a strategic alliance. They are commonly accepted groupings, labeled by their cable news channel on the graphic.

Twitter Followers and Facebook Likes were compiled as of May 16, 2014, website data is from April, and mobile activity is from March, as April numbers were not yet available at the time of this publishing.

TV viewers are April averages, with “primetime” encompassing 8 p.m. – 11 p.m., and total day covering 6 a.m. – 6 a.m.

Also read: CNN Fires Editor Accused of Extensive Plagiarism

As you can see below, CNN is way above the competition on social media, and its online roll-up bests or nearly bests the combined efforts from MSNBC and Fox News in all categories.

TV ratings, of course, are a whole other story.

Here’s the comparison (Ratings are per Nielsen, online data per comScore Media Metrix, video starts per Video Metrix and mobile count from Nielsen Mobile MediaView):