Shutdown coverage benefits cable news networks

2:55 PM, Oct 19, 2013   |    comments
New York, NY, U.S.A -- FOX news commentator Bill O'Reilly on the set of his show, The O'Reilly Factor, in New York City on September 22, 2011. Photo by Todd Plitt, USA TODAY
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NEW YORK (AP) - The federal government wasn't getting anything done but plenty of people were watching.

The 16-day partial government shutdown proved to be good business for the cable television news networks. CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC saw their viewership increase during the shutdown. Viewership peaked at more than five million Wednesday evening when Congress passed a compromise bill to put the government back online.

The shutdown also taught some reporters new benefits of virtually instant communications. Reporters say social media inquiries from viewers prompted questions they asked. In other cases, sources would tweet, text or email with reporters even as they were on-air.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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