The cable news numbers for February paint an even bleaker picture for CNN than what the onetime industry front-runner already was looking at. Deadline.com reports that much of the network’s prime-time programming lost close to half its audience from just a year ago.
"CNN‘s Anderson Cooper at 8 PM dropped 47% February to February in overall audience to average 421,000 viewers, and 46% in the news demo [adults 25-54] to 127,000 viewers for the month, according to Nielsen," the story reports. "In his defense, Cooper’s lead-in, ‘Erin Burnett Outfront,’ dropped 39% to post an average of 293,000 viewers in February, and slipped 32% in the news demo to 100,000 viewers. [Piers] Morgan’s getting scrubbed from 9 PM at CNN because, for instance, he logged 347,000 viewers for the month — down 46% — and 100,000 demo viewers — down 38%."
Fox News Channel, meanwhile, continued what has been an almost unprecedented winning streak, stretching to 146 months in a row at No. 1 among cable news channels in total viewers — in both prime time and total day. Fox was the only cable news network to post a gain from February 2013 both in total viewers and in the news demo, the report notes.
"In all of cable, Fox News ranked third in prime time (8-11 PM) — behind USA Network and History — and fifth for total day," Deadline reports. "Meanwhile, neither CNN [nor] MSNBC were able to crack the top 20 in either daypart. CNN ranked 39th in prime and 34th in today day; MSNBC 26th in prime and 27th in total day. Every hour of the day, Fox News dominated CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers. It also beat both networks in the news demo."
Fox News had the top 13 cable news programs in total viewers, along with eight of the 10 highest-rated shows in viewers 25-54.
"’The O’Reilly Factor’ still leads the pack, and edged up 3% February to February in overall audience (2.937 million) and 2% in the demo (450,000). But ‘The Kelly File’ jumped 23% in overall audience (2.337 million) and 11% in the demo (354,000)," the story notes.
MSNBC’s top draw is Rachel Maddow, who averaged 996,000 total viewers and 287,000 demo viewers at 9 PM, "but in so doing she’s flat and up 7%, respectively," the report notes. "At 7 PM, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews jumped 24% and 17%, to 925,000 overall viewers and 232,000 demo viewers, respectively."
Here are the Top 5 cable news programs for February (all on Fox News):
The O’Reilly Factor (2,937,000)
The Kelly File (2,337,000)
Special Report with Bret Baier (2,114,000)
The Five (2,107,000)
On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (1,938,000)
The O’Reilly Factor (450,000)
The Five (358,000)
The Kelly File (354,000)
Special Report with Bret Baier (315,000)
On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (299,000)