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.