The media coverage of the Jodi Arias murder trial came to a head Wednesday when the jury came back with a guilty verdict against the 32-year-old Arizona woman.
HLN, one of the many stations that has been covering the trial since it began in January, came out on top when the verdict was read. According to The Hollywood Reporter, at 4 pm Wednesday, HLN had drawn 646,000 adult viewers 25-54. CNN came in second with 522,000 viewers, and Fox News came in third with 457,000. MSNBC pulled a paltry 106,000 viewers.
Fox News boasted 2.76 million total viewers, while HLN came in second with 2.198 million viewers. CNN trailed behind HLN with 1.52 million total viewers, while MSNBC languished in fourth with 395,000.
While HLN’s ratings for the Jodi Arias verdict were impressive, they were less than half of what the station received for the Casey Anthony verdict in 2011. When the jury read its “not guilty” verdict on July 5 of that year, HLN pulled in a record 5.2 million viewers. That was an increase of 1,700 percent from the channel’s usual audience of 283,000 viewers for that time of day (2:15 to 2:30 pm).
Around 2 million people were watching HLN prior to the verdict, and when it was announced at 1:30 that the verdict was about to be read, viewership more than doubled.
The next step in the Arias trial is for the jury to decide whether or not Arias will get the death penalty. Arias has said that she would prefer “the ultimate freedom” of death to life in prison. She has since been placed on suicide watch.
Jodi Arias was found guilty of the 2008 murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Arias shot Alexander in the face, slit his throat, and then stabbed him over 20 times. His hands had defensive wounds — disproving Arias’ claims that she killed Alexander in self-defense.
Did you watch the Jodi Arias trial? What station did you watch on?