Dems Outpoll GOP, Except on FNC

Last week's Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles proved to be more popular with all-news-network viewers than the Republican confab, except for those who watch Fox News Channel.

Through Wednesday night, Cable News Network pulled higher ratings than MSNBC and Fox News Channel combined, averaging a 1.52 Nielsen Media Research rating and 1.2 million households.

CNN topped the 1.3 rating and 984,000 households it averaged for the first three nights of the Republican National Convention, held earlier this month in Philadelphia.

Ratings from last Thursday night-which featured the acceptance speech by Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore-weren't available at press time.

MSNBC-which was crushed by both CNN and FNC during the RNC-made a comeback, averaging a 0.85 rating and 491,000 households through last Wednesday. During the RNC, MSNBC averaged a 0.5 rating and 314,000 households for the first three nights of the convention.

FNC's ratings fell sharply from the 1.0 and 506,000 households it pulled for the first three nights of the RNC, to a 0.6 rating and 336,000 households. This added fuel to claims by MSNBC and CNN executives during the RNC that FNC performed well because it has a conservative political bent.

Despite the ratings drop, FNC executive producer Marty Ryan dismissed talk that the network only performs well with Republicans, turning the tables on the competition.

"If you buy the premise, you have to ask, is CNN the Clinton News Network.and is NBC all liberals? I don't even buy the concept," he said, suggesting that MSNBC and CNN are tight with Democrats.

C-SPAN was the only cable network to carry the entire seven hours and 17 minutes of podium time at the DNC. PBS covered two hours of the convention, followed by CNN (1:36), MSNBC (1:33), FNC (1:29) and NBC (1:22). ABC and CBS each covered 1:11 of the DNC.