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HURRICANE SANDY A BOON FOR CABLE NEWS

November 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hurricane Sandy produced a mixed blessing — for lack of a better term — for cable news channels over the weekend. Viewers in the affected areas flocked en masse to CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, HLN, and the Weather Channel, but ratings for those outlets was somewhat lower than what they were a year ago during Hurricane Irene. The reason: the hurricane knocked out power in huge areas of New York and New Jersey, making it impossible for many people to watch the television coverage. Nevertheless, ratings for the news channels soared. For long-suffering CNN, the outcome brought some relief from the series of negative ratings results it has been experiencing of late. It was the highest-rated cable network among the 25-54 age group throughout the day and during primetime, although losing to Fox News in total viewers. On the other hand, the media research firm Pivotal Research Group estimated on Wednesday that the hurricane will cost the advertising industry about $500 million in lost revenue as a result of network preemptions and outages.