Reading your headline, I was surprised that CNN would have lapped a couple networks to place third - pretty darned good for a cable channel. However, the article refers to 3rd place among the cable news channels - not surprising, although it is also pointed out that CNN does better when the ratings include the whole day, not just prime time.
Would it be perhaps that because there is more of that sensationalism which both Fox and MSNBC present with one almost all the way on the right and the other on the left?
I like CNN it seems more in the middle these days. Just reporting the stories. At night (providing my I am in the mood to watch tv OR my children and wife are not in control of the TV haha), I watch CNBC or Bloomberg.