CNN's emphasis on breaking news has put the network at a disadvantage to rivals Fox News and MSNBC when no crisis or major news story is occurring. CNN surges to first place when there's a developing story but for the past three years has been ranked third in prime time among the 25-to-54 segment for its regular programming. CNN's programming strategy also presents challenges on the ad front, because an airline wouldn't want its ads to run during coverage of a plane crash, and a breaking crisis may mean hours of coverage without commercials.

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