We've had lots of cable news charts on the site recently showing dramatic declines for both individual cable news show and cable news network ratings as a whole compared to their October 2008 election period. Many have asked about a comparison of Fox's results with those of CNN and MSNBC, and reader MikeS has come through again, compiling the charts below showing the relative audience for each network compared to its October 2008 average for both adults 25-54 and average viewers.
It's pretty clear that the election year ratings hangover being suffered by both CNN and MSNBC initially struck Fox News as well. Their ratings declines on a percentage basis were similar through early 2009, but beginning in February CNN and MSNBC audiences continued falling relative to their pre-election levels and Fox News' ratings stabilized at about 90% of their election period levels. CNN did have a Michael Jackson death ratings spike in mid-summer, but that has now entirely dissipated.
Beginning in mid-summer, Fox News' ratings began climbing and are now at or near the levels for October, 2008 while both CNN and MSNBC are down 50% plus from their October, 2008 levels.
5-11pm Adults 25-54 viewers vs. October, 2008 average:
5-11pm total average viewers vs. October, 2008 average:
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.