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JAN
23
2 YEARS

Newt Gingrich's South Carolina Victory Gives Fox News Ratings Win

Fox News bests its cable news competition with 2.6 million viewers from 7-11 p.m., followed by CNN with 1.2 million, for the net's best tune-in this primary cycle.

Newt Gingrich Walking - H 2012
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Fox News Channel led the cable news competition for coverage of Saturday’s South Carolina primary. From 7-11 p.m., Fox News averaged 2.6 million viewers with 703,000 of them in news’ target demographic of viewers 25-54.

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Most television news organization declared Newt Gingrich – who pummeled Mitt Romney – the winner at the top of the 7 p.m. hour; polls officially closed in South Carolina at 7 p.m. ET.

CNN finished second for the night averaging 1.2 million viewers – its best tune-in for a primary this cycle – with 471,000 in the demo. MSNBC averaged 985,000 viewers from 7-11 p.m. with 240,000 in the demo.

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The South Carolina primary was not exactly close, unlike the Iowa caucus, which had eight votes separating Romney and Rick Santorum, and last week was awarded to Santorum after a recount. But Gingrich’s clear victory over heretofore GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney gave the cable news networks a ready-made and engaging redemption narrative for the evening. 

Email: Marisa.Guthrie@thr.com

Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie