April was quite the busy month for the 24-hour cable news machine. From the Boston bombing, to the huge explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant, to the recent escalation of events in Syria, cable news never had to look far for new material to cover. This led FOX News to the highest levels the network has reached in quite some time.
The most impressive stat is that FOX ranked #2 overall in primetime for the month of April. That's not #2 in cable news, that's #2 in all of cable, second only to reigning champ USA. The last time this happened (outside of election season) was during the Earthquake in Japan back in 2011. Competing networks CNN and MSNBC were soundly trounced, with CNN coming in at #17, and MSNBC not even cracking the top 25.
In a somewhat odd occurrence, CNN actually had by far the biggest gains in overall primetime viewership, climbing up over 80% from last year at this time. This is of course offset by the fact that CNN's April 2012 numbers were prohibitively low. It should also be noted that the viewers CNN gained seem to have come almost exclusively from MSNBC, with FOX News viewers staying put. FOX also easily retained the most viewers after the frenzy surrounding the Boston attacks died down, holding on to nearly 70% of total day viewership the following week. Wherever you may land on the political spectrum, it's impossible to deny the facts: FOX is #1 in cable news, and it's not even close.
*ratings info courtesy of Neilsen Media Research