CNN Narrows the Gap With MSNBC

Categories: Cable News Ratings,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

February 26th, 2013

via press release:



The Network Tops MSNBC during Dayside


CNN Evening Programs Show Growth vs. a Year Ago; FNC has Steep Declines in Key Demo



In February, CNN narrowed the total day gap with MSNBC to only -9k in total viewers (424k vs. 433k) and -11k in 25-54 (130k vs. 141k). At its recent monthly peak (October 2012), the gap was -180k in P2+ and -72k in 25-54.  Last month it was -43k in 2+ and -26k in target demo.


CNN also topped MSNBC during dayside programming (9a-5p) in both total viewers (475k vs. 412k) and in the key demo 25-54 (129k vs. 119k) this month.


Other CNN ratings highlights include:


Erin Burnett Outfront

  • Outfront was the only 7p show to grow vs. competitors – increasing +15% in total viewers (482k vs. 420k) and up +11% in the demo (148k vs. 133k) vs. last February.   Fox Report with Shep Smith was flat in P2+ and down -21% in the key demo and Hardball was down -7% in total viewers and off -5% in 25-54. 


Anderson Cooper 360

  • AC 360 at 8p had the most growth this month in cable news prime – increasing +42% in total viewers (791k vs. 559k) and +27% among 25-54 (236k vs. 186k) compared to a year ago.  While AC 360 grew this month, The O’Reilly Factor was down -3% in total viewers and -26% in 25-54 and The Ed Show declined -14% and -10% respectively.  This represents O’Reilly’s worst delivery at 8p since July 2008 in key demo 25-54. Outside of the November 2012 (Election) and March 2011 (Japan Tsunami), this month represents CNN’s best performance at 8p in over three years in both total viewers and 25-54.


Piers Morgan Tonight

  • Last year the cable news networks saw heightened viewing due to the political primaries, debates and the death of Whitney Houston. This year at 9pm all the nets saw declines vs. a year ago with PMT registering the smallest among total viewers (-3%), while FNC’s Hannity was off -11% and MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was down -6%.  In the demo 25-54, Hannity was down the most of all the networks, dropping -35% -- representing the Hannity’s worst demo delivery since May 2006. 


The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

  • The Sit Room posted increases at 6p vs. a year ago -- growing +15% in total viewers (522k vs. 455k) and increasing an impressive +25% in the key demo 25-54 (158k vs. 126k).  The show also grew the most vs. the competition, with FNC’s Special Report declining -15% in the demo and MSNBC’s Politics Nation declining -8% in total viewers.
  • DKS

    CNN should send MSNBC a big thank you note for putting the completely unwatchable “Cycle” on in the middle of the day. Even as one who appreciates MSNBC’s progressive slant, it’s horrible.

  • usa8888

    Fox continues to attract a very old viewer with over half of its audience being over 65……

  • Mark


    FOX attracts the retired viewer while MSNBC/CNN attract the unemployed viewer.

  • Mark2

    Exactly what I’ve been saying.

  • Graham

    The Cycle. They’re so cool.
    And unwatchable.
    And I’m a Dem.

  • 728huey

    CNN needs some serious help, especially when they dump one of their best journalists like Soledad O’Brien and promote crappy ones like Erin Burnett. They need to get rid of about 80% of their while lineup and just present real news, not crap like the boat cruise from hell.

    But then again, maybe there’s not much hope for cable news as long as it’s owned by these massive corporations. Even MSNBC, which I like and watch often, can be a little bit tiresome with their content often mirroring that of Fox News. At least Rachel Maddow can dump on the right wing while still being extremely informative and entertaining, and the weekend shows with Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry discuss some really serious issues without any of the histrionics of their other programs. But I guess this type of programming is too highbrow for mainstream audiences.

  • USAmerica1st

    Agree, 728huey, with most of what you said. Soledad will be missed and Erin hangs around. There is definitely a new guy in charge at CNN, cranking out all of the positives he can find in this news release. Can’t wait to see the TVBTN data.

  • Ralph Hahn

    Age 65 or age 35, it don’t mean s–t unless you have INTELLIGENT viewers who have lots of spendable cash. But, yet another article confirming that MSNBC has LOST viewers. IF Fox had also lost viewers, it doesn’t much matter. FNC IS STILL NUMBER ONE! In P+2 and 25-54 demos.

    And any moron who retorts with how many more viewers broadcast network TV news half-hour shows have more viewers than the cable nets do, or compare Cable news demos with entertainment shows, that go for the 18-49 breakout, or (get this one, the king of ridicuolus comments) that the Oscars Sunday night had 20 times the ratings of what Bill O had Friday night, is a REAL loser.

    As I always say: Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

  • jon wickstrom

    CNN has my attention,they will pull even with N B C cable because they appear to seek truth and will not usually not slant their stories.We Americans need C N N tocounter NBC


    728huey and USAmerica1st – right on! I can’t believe they are promoting Burnett – she is useless. Soledad was on of the few with the guts to ask tough questions. Everyone else are the celeb suckups. Soledad will be missed. Even Andy has lost his touch. He doesn’t even seem to care anymore. Its probably because he sees that CNN is going downhill fast.

  • Boo Boo Bear

    Soledad would not hold back when someone was coming at her with BS. The GOP fears her!

  • 1nancy2

    “CNN should send MSNBC a big thank you note for putting the completely unwatchable “Cycle” on in the middle of the day. ” How true, how true. I can’t stand that awful, brillo pad voice, along with gasps, when trying to breathe, SE Cupp. She’s the worst thing that dropped her sorry rear end in her chair on that channel. What the heck were they thinking? They should boot SE pronto and replace her with another repub., if they feel the need to do that. My opinion? Just have Dem’s on the Cycle. The 5 has 1 token Dem..Guess repubs comfy level is safety in #’s. Oh, MSNBC has made it impossible to give any feedback now. Guess they don’t want to hear that SE, Joe Blow, Chucky T., the two men who wrote, Game changer and others su**, big time. BBL

  • Art B.

    USA-8888; Please be so kind as let us know the site you found that shows FOX News audience to be the “very old viewer with over half of its audience being over 65.”.

    Otherwise, keep you idiotic comments confined to Rachael Madcow and the other brain-deads of BSNBC.

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