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Fox News draws hurricane crowd

Hurricane Katrina helped Fox News earn its largest audience of the year Monday, as an average of 2.8 million viewers throughout the day tuned in to the top-rated cable news network, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox News’ viewership was larger than the combined audiences of rival CNN, which averaged 1.8 million viewers, and MSNBC, which attracted 679,000.

The bump for Fox comes as its average prime-time audience swelled to more than 2 million in August, 32% over the same period last year. CNN drew an average prime-time audience of 748,000, down 19% from August 2004, when the network enjoyed huge gains with its coverage of the Democratic National Convention.

However, sister network CNN Headline News won an average prime-time viewership of 449,000 this month, a boost of 117% over last year, beating MSNBC, which fell 22% in prime time to 349,000 viewers.

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