Rich Galen

Moving along to 7 PM Greta, like Baier, was flat Monday-over-Monday with about 1.8 million viewers. Chris Matthews lost a whopping 14% of his viewers but Erin Burnett saw an enormous increase of over 77 percent, raising her audience to 892,000.

At 8 PM - the wholly owned subsidiary of Bill O'Reilly - Anderson Cooper's audience rose by nearly 41 percent over two weeks earlier to 836,000. Chris Hayes' MSNBC program was down about 8 percent as were Bill O'Reilly's numbers: Off about 9 percent.

O'Reilly still won the night with a total of over 2.8 million viewers, but that would explain his crankiness at the constant coverage by CNN. That nine percent loss represented 274,000 viewers.

The biggest loser in this comparison occurred at the nine o'clock hour when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow lost nearly 19 percent of her audience while the Piers Morgan slot on CNN gained nearly 78%.

At 10 PM Lawrence O'Donnell dropped about 15 percent of his MSNBC audience while a "Special Report" on CNN gained nearly 78% in that time slot that has proved so difficult for CNN to solve. Hannity held his own, gaining about 4 percent in the 10 PM hour.

CNN has not had much - you should pardon the expression - good news lately, lagging in almost every category in almost every time slot.

But over the period of the missing airplane MSNBC has lost some 288,000 viewers; Fox has held about steady with an increase of 29,000 over the course of the two nights, but an additional 2.7 million people watched CNN from 4 PM through midnight on March 17 than they had two Mondays previous.

That's how you rate an airplane story.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at