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CNN Ratings Resurgence 'Unsurges'

Without the spike from coverage of Pope John Paul II's death and successor, CNN”s ratings resurgence faded in May, while Headline News continued to grow in prime.

CNN's total audience fell sharply, during prime time, off 16% compared to May 2004 to an average of 610,000 viewers.

Rival Fox News, meanwhile, increased 11% to 1.4 million. MSNBC was up a hair--1% to an average 286,000 viewers.

In the key news demo--adults 25-54--CNN’s prime time average dropped 12% to 179,000. Leader Fox News' average fell even more, off 16% to 332,000. MSNBC, on the other hand, was up 11% to 109,000.

CNN’s Headline News maintained its gains in prime time, benefiting from the network’s spending on promotion and programming, particularly the addition of tabloidish anchor Nancy Grace.

Headline News’s prime time audience hit 317,000. That’s 82% more than last year and up 16% from April.