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Fox News had the best quarter in cable news history, thanks in large part to its flagship program, The O'Reilly Factor, which had the biggest quarter ever for a cable news show (4 million viewers). MSNBC, CNN and Fox were all mostly up in daily audience and demo numbers. While MSNBC beat out CNN on the weekdays, thanks to record-breaking viewership of Rachel Maddow during the 9:00 p.m. hour, CNN still beat out MSNBC in viewership for the quarter.

Why it matters: Even though Fox pulled out the biggest overall numbers, MSNBC's growth from Q1 last year is notable. Per The Hollywood Reporter, MSNBC grew 55% and 61% in daytime and primetime, respectively, and 40% and 49% in the demo. CNN grew only 13% in daytime (+22% in the demo) but fell 17% in primetime (-11% in the demo). Fox's growth was in between with gains of 27% in daytime ratings (+32% in the demo) and 20% in primetime (+19% in the demo)

Why it doesn't matter: The fact that all three networks were up in total daily viewership means the Trump bump wasn't exclusive to the election. Per Pew, all three networks have experienced ratings bumps since 2015, meaning that cable news could be increasing in viewership more broadly.

Go deeper

55 mins ago - World

Rich world’s pandemic selfishness won't be forgotten

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The failure of rich countries to share vaccines and financial assistance with poorer ones during the pandemic will exacerbate the rise in global poverty and could come back to bite them, Nobel Prize-winning economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee tell Axios.

Why it matters: Duflo initially believed the pandemic would produce a “more cooperative world order” as rich countries felt compelled to show solidarity with the developing world, potentially boding well for future collaboration on issues like climate change. Now she fears the opposite.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress passes $2.1B Capitol security funding bill

U.S. Capitol police officers testify during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on July 27. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Xinhua

A $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill is heading to President Biden for his signature after the House and Senate passed the legislation on Thursday.

Why it matters: The legislation provides funding for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other agencies to cover the costs incurred during the Jan. 6 riot.

Biden details new vaccination initiatives as COVID cases surge

Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden detailed several new initiatives on Thursday to get more Americans vaccinated and slow the spread of the Delta variant.

Why it matters: The plan outlines aggressive next steps from the federal government as COVID-19 cases surge across the country due to the contagious Delta variant and as demand for vaccines has tapered off.