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CNN’s Lemon Beats Fox News Kelly During Coverage of Prince Death

As the nation gathered in front of their TV sets to learn all they could about the passing of rock giant Prince, an interesting thing occurred: CNN’s Don Lemon beat Fox News ratings powerhouse Megyn Kelly in the day’s ratings.

On Friday, April 22 music fans were mourning the death of the musical genius and many of them flipped on the TV and tuned to CNN to watch the coverage. In fact, CNN pretty much dominated all day long among the key 25-54 demographic, not just during Don Lemon’s coverage of the pop star’s passing.

CNN’s ratings were good for much of the day. According to Mediaite, Jake Tapper’s 4PM show The Lead found 359K viewers (meanwhile, Fox News host Neil Cavuto got only 214k), Wolf Blitzer’s 5PM show The Situation Room earned 266K viewers (where Fox’s The Five only reached 249K), Blitzer’s second hour then received 263K viewers (and Bret Bair’s show hit 257K), then Erin Burnett won 260K viewers (while Fox’s Greta Van Susteren got only 203K), and that leads up to Lemon’s hour.

During the evening’s cable tributes to the singer, Don Lemon and his CNN Tonight earned itself 268K viewers, edging out Megyn Kelly’s The Kelly Files, which garnered 267K. This is a rare upset for Kelly, who is usually far and away the top cable news ratings champion in the evening time slot.

Mediaite also notes that Tapper’s The Lead was number one in the key demo for the day.

Last week’s good ratings for its Prince coverage comes on the heels of several good weeks for CNN with its coverage of the primary races. March saw CNN topping the cable news ratings race several times as the nation followed primary news.

Still, despite the bumps CNN often gets when there is a big breaking story, CNN generally comes in second — and often a distant second — to Fox News.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com

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