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Missing Malaysian Airlines jet nets high ratings on cable news

AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- The mystery of the missing Malaysian Airlines jet has become a hot television story, particularly on CNN.

The network devoted the bulk of its time Friday to the story, a direct result of ratings showing a fascination among viewers about the Boeing 777 airliner that has been missing since taking off from a Kuala Lumpur airport a week ago.

CNN averaged 588,000 viewers for the full day Thursday, well above its average of 320,000 this year. Anderson Cooper's prime-time show, which has focused heavily on the mystery, more than doubled its typical viewership the last two nights and topped 1.1 million viewers Thursday.

The network tracked various theories Friday, a headline on its screen identifying the story as "Vanished." Correspondent Martin Savidge did several reports from a cockpit simulator, Wolf Blitzer discussed whether the recording of a seismic event in the region on the day the plane took off could be tied to a crash and security experts continued to mull potential terrorism.

It has become a water cooler topic, with several social media references to the downed jet that kicked off the popular television series "Lost."

Cooper's show, which has averaged 444,000 viewers this year, reached 972,000 people on Wednesday, Nielsen said. On both of the last two nights, Cooper achieved the highly unusual feat of topping Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly among the 25- to 54-year-old age demographic. O'Reilly easily won among viewers of all ages.

So far, the plane story has meant less for Fox and MSNBC, which have a heavier concentration on political stories. Fox's full-day average of 1.26 million people on Thursday beat the 1.1 million it has been typically drawing this year. MSNBC had 370,000 viewers, lower than its non-Olympic average of 405,000 this year, Nielsen said.


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novavita2000 March 15 2014 at 11:33 AM

There should be far more stories on Russia, Ukraine and what our role can/should/should not be. The plane is gone. Hours of speculation by talking heads will not solve the mystery until it is gone and that's unlikely. We have a demand for certainty that cannot be met in this life.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
phstacy March 15 2014 at 9:48 AM

The trouble is, regarding the missing airplane, that newscasters must keep talking even
when they have nothing to say.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
1 reply
verbal007 phstacy March 15 2014 at 10:05 AM

Like Obama,you mean ?

Flag Reply +9 rate up
gloriabarnes8 March 15 2014 at 9:54 AM

I know the missing plane is important; but l wont to hear the rest of the news that are happening every hour too.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
smp3411 gloriabarnes8 March 15 2014 at 10:13 AM

Try changing the channel
Review your spelling so your comment makes some sense.
Over 230 lives are more important than a single person's entertainment!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
mielkele smp3411 March 15 2014 at 11:07 AM

Gloria didn't say she was looking for entertainment. She said she wanted to hear the REST of the news.

Flag +1 rate up
verbal007 March 15 2014 at 10:03 AM

in the meantime,far left MSNBC is still reporting 24/7 on BridgeGate.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
teresa March 15 2014 at 3:45 PM

........ with regards to the story has meant less for Fox ! They have constantly aired news on the missing jet!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Yin F. Tse March 15 2014 at 10:22 AM

The whole thing helped Putin a lot. US talks, Russia works.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
foxyconserv March 15 2014 at 10:25 AM

Of course FOX wins. It may not be obvious on this site, being it's left-leaning, but most of the country still knows news done right.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
idahoblue777 foxyconserv March 15 2014 at 10:31 AM

Only old, White fogies get their news from TV, so of course FOX would have the highest rating. Also, they are the only channel that that slants so far right they have fallen off the cliff. If you add CNN, MSNBC, and all the other mainstream non-cable news channels together, they far outnumber FOX's drivel.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
4 replies
Randy March 15 2014 at 10:26 AM

Oh, and what was not included in the headline was Fox had more viewers for their coverage than the far left havens of CNN and the pitiful MSNBC combined.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
beniehill March 15 2014 at 7:16 PM

way way way over done.....tired of it.......................

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ruler777 March 15 2014 at 10:44 AM

How do they actually know how many people are watching? There are a lot of people that flip back and forth to listen to both sides like I do. Do the NSA watch you through your TV?

Flag Reply +4 rate up
3 replies
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