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Missing Malaysian Airlines jet nets high ratings on cable news



By DAVID BAUDER
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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verbal007 March 15 2014 at 10:03 AM

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

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Harriet Smith March 15 2014 at 5:31 PM

IF THE PLANE LANDED IN THE OCEAN THE PEOPLE ARE MOST LIKLEY DEAD SO PLEASE LOOK FOR THEM ON LAND AND ALSO IN WATER WHAT MATTERS ARE THE PEOPLE FIRST THAN WHY

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MICHAEL STEARNS March 15 2014 at 4:52 PM

Hi Anderson, RE: the Andaman Islands . they have an airport with an 11000 ft runray called Verr Savarkar Intl airport...The editor of the Andaman chronicle just told everyone on Barbara starr CNN there was no where to land a big plane there .....????

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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Mike March 15 2014 at 10:48 AM

I think the missing plane and its passengers are being held in a hostile country.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
3 replies
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
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!

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beniehill March 15 2014 at 7:16 PM

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

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Yin F. Tse March 15 2014 at 10:22 AM

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

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aol~~ 1209600

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