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CNN, MSNBC Tie in Demo for October Ratings

Last Word Lawrence O'Donnell MSNBC - H 2011
MSNBC
MSNBC's "Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell"

UPDATED: Erin Burnett's "Outfront" improves the 7 p.m. time slot for CNN.

A newsy October with the deaths of Steve Jobs and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi plus a continuing Republican primary battle has ended with MSNBC and CNN tied in primetime in the key 25-54 demographic.

Both networks averaged 197,000 in the demo (Monday through Friday, from 8-11 p.m., excluding CNN's Oct. 18 GOP debate).

CNN was up 5 percent compared to October 2010 when the live rescue of the Chilean miners riveted the nation.

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MSNBC was down 25 percent year-over-year and cable news leader Fox News was down 28 percent. MSNBC still topped CNN among total viewers.

In the 8 p.m. hour, Anderson Cooper 360 topped The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell in the demo (178,000 vs. 175,000) for a 21 jump compared to October 2010. But MSNBC still topped CNN among total viewers (843,000 vs. 546,000).

But since Last Word and The Ed Show swapped time slots on Oct. 24, MSNBC is back on top at 8 and 10 p.m. in the demo and among total viewers.

CNN's new 7 p.m. show Outfront with Erin Burnett averaged 146,000 viewers in the demo and 490,000 among total viewers for gains of nine percent and seven percent year-over-year.

MSNBC's Morning Joe continues to top CNN's American Morning among total viewers (390,000 vs. 252,000) and the demo (141,000 vs. 105,000).

CNN will soon revamp its morning lineup with former ABC News anchor Ashleigh Banfield expected to take over the 5-7 a.m. shift and Soledad O'Brien anchoring from 7-9 a.m.