Katrina was more deadly and produced more destruction, but Irene got bigger ratings -- at least so far as the NBC-owned The Weather Channel is concerned. According to Nielsen Research the channel averaged four million viewers on Saturday -- the highest ratings for a whole day in its history, edging out the channel's previous record of 3.93 million, recorded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The channel came close to equaling the combined audience of Fox News and CNN, which recorded 2.18 million and 2.12 million viewers, respectively. On Sunday, however, when Irene was reduced to a tropical storm, the audience was halved. Fox News led with 1.37 million viewers, followed by the Weather Channel, with 1.29 million and CNN with 1.24 million.