By Rick Kissell
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – In a generally overall down year for the cable news genre, Fox News remained the dominant ratings force in 2014, while CNN made some meaningful demo strides relative to a sagging MSNBC.
Behind the highest-rated programs in cable news — including “The O’Reilly Factor,” which was again top dog among all programs — Fox News finished on top in both total viewers and the adults 25-54 news demo for a 13th straight year, according to Nielsen’s “most current” estimates through Dec. 26.
Fox News was also the only cable newser up in the demo in primetime, as it opened up bigger advantages over the runner-up network in both 25-54 and total viewers.
MSNBC was down across the board, including declines in the demo of nearly 20%, and its prexy Phil Griffin vowed to make changes in 2015.
And while CNN fell off by 8% in overall primetime viewership, it held steady year-to-year in adults 25-54 and moved up to second in numerous dayparts. In both total viewers and the key demo, it finished ahead of MSNBC for the first time in three years.
Combined, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC averaged 1.8 million viewers total-day (down 5% from 2013) and 2.85 million in primetime (down 4%). Among adults 25-54, they were down 8% in total-day and 5% in primetime.
(While these declines aren’t horrible, the genre as a whole took a bigger hit if you included Headline News, which was down 16% in primetime vs. last year).
The most meaningful change from a ranking standpoint in 2014 was CNN leap-frogging MSNBC in the demo during primetime (187,000 vs. 174,000), with the former flat and the latter down 17%. MSNBC saw both “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Lawrence O’Donnell Show” deliver all-time lows, while CNN’s 10 p.m. hour (primarily “CNN Tonight”) also hit some lows.
The general downward trend in traditional viewership of the cable news networks in recent years has contributed to some record or lowest-in-year performances — which, of course, …read more
Source: More Fitness