Fox News Channel’s viewership has widened CNN and MSNBC for two years in a row after they dominated the February of heavy news.
Fox News has now topped CNN and MSNBC in total and in prime time, among total viewers and the advertiser-popular demographic of adults 25-54, for 24 months just. The milestone came during a historically low month for long-struggling CNN.
Fox News reached 1.4 million total viewers in February, finishing as the only basic cable channel to break the one million benchmark. MSNBC finished second with 711,000 average viewers, followed by ESPN, HGTV and CNN.
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During the prime time of 8-11 pm ET, Fox News averaged 2.3 million viewers. MSNBC, ESPN, TNT and HGTV rounded out the top five while CNN failed to crack the top ten with a dismal average primetime audience of 587,000.
In the most popular demo for advertisers, Fox News finished with an average of 189,000 full-day viewers compared to 89,000 for CNN and just 80,000 for MSNBC as the liberal outlets continue to struggle in the critical category. In February CNN had its smallest audience among the demos since 2012.
During prime time, Fox News averaged 299,000 demo viewers while CNN settled for 122,000 and MSNBC only managed 119,000. It was CNN’s worst prime-time performance in the category since 2013.
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“The Five” averaged 3.3 million viewers to lead cable news for the 11th straight month despite airing outside the historically prime-time hours.
Follow “The Five” at “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “Jesse Watters Primetime,” “Hannity,” “Special Report with Bret Baier,” “The Ingraham Angle,” “Gutfeld!,” “Numbered,” “America’s Newsroom, ” “The Faulkner Focus,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” “America Reports” and “The Story” as Fox News listed the 13 most popular shows. Thus, Fox News aired 94 of the top 100 cable news telecasts for the month.
MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” was the most watched and unwatched program, finishing 14th with an average of 1.4 million viewers.
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“Anderson Cooper 360” was CNN’s most popular ratings-challenged program, finishing 26th among cable news with just 673,000 nightly viewers. Despite CNN having the largest audience, “Anderson Cooper 360” was pulled by 15 Fox News and 10 MSNBC offerings.
“CNN This Morning,” the show that infamously got Don Lemon into hot water for talking about women in the premiere, averaged just 360,000 total viewers for its smallest audience since it launched last year. By comparison, “FOX & Friends” averaged 1.2 million viewers on cable morning news shows for the 23rd straight month.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 461,000 viewers among the top shows to win that category, while MSNBC’s most-watched show, “All in with Chris Hayes, ” only averaged 142,000 viewers. CNN’s “AC 360” topped online with 133,000 demo viewers to No. 20 ranking among cable news programs.
“Gutfeld!” CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was in the key demographic for the second time in the show’s history.
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All data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research