CNN Digital sees big jump in unique visitors during coverage of Malaysian airliner


The mystery surrounding missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — which CNN covered exhaustively on TV for weeks after the disappearance — appears to have been good for CNN’s online business, too.

CNN’s digital properties saw 76 million unique visitors in March, according to a press release citing comScore figures. That’s a 13 percent increase from the 67 million monthly uniques it averaged in 2013. Total page views in March were 1.9 billion, in line with the 2013 average.

In a press release, CNN cited “extensive coverage of the Malaysian airliner, the conflict in Ukraine, Academy Awards, Washington mudslide and other major news events.”

CNN narrowed the gap between itself and Yahoo-ABC News, which had 77 million uniques in March, in line with its average for the last six months.

On an episode of “Reliable Sources” late last month, Brian Stelter shared TV ratings for CNN, which managed to leap past MSNBC during coverage of the missing plane:

CNN’s extensive coverage during the weeks after the plane’s disappearance drew plenty of mockery but was also defended as good explanatory journalism and a smart business decision:


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  • chris lopez

    Newsrooms, whether print, broadcast, digital or otherwise, should always look to “own” stories. That’s what CNN did and it paid off. If you “own” a story and work it like you “own” it, your voice on the story becomes clear and consistent and your audience benefits. “Own Stories” should be a mantra every top editor, producer emphasizes with their teams on a daily, weekly basis.