CNN has always thrived during high-interest breaking-news stories. Friday’s conclusion of the Boston bombing manhunt was no exception.
The cable news network scored its best overall day across all TV-rating categories since the Iraq War 10 years ago. Among total viewers, it was CNN’s top performance since election day 2012, according to Nielsen.
In prime time - with viewers seeking news of the dramatic capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing - CNN scored a rare victory over Fox News, with 2.5 million viewers vs. Fox’s 1.9 million.
CNN’s digital traffic also surged. The network’s website logged 173 million page views - its third-highest day on record, after election days in 2008 and 2012.
For CNN, the numbers provided a bittersweet validation after the network was excoriated for falsely reporting earlier in the week that authorities had a suspect in custody.
The big question now is whether CNN -- under new management and desperate to boost its generally lagging ratings -- can find more viewers during periods when there isn’t a breaking crisis.