The ratings battle among cable news channels has had a shakeup, with two networks swapping positions, reports our good friend Bill Carter in The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog.
MSNBC has moved back ahead of CNN in prime time after MSNBC revamped its lineup, moving Lawrence O’Donnell from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., the story reports.
MSNBC moved Ed Schultz to 8 p.m. as part of its November revamp, with both O’Donnell’s and Schultz’s shows beating CNN’s "360" program with Anderson Cooper during its 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. airings, the story notes.
Writes Carter, "The cable news ratings for November indicate MSNBC has come back to move ahead of CNN across the board, both in terms of total viewers and among those that the advertisers value the most. MSNBC beat CNN in just about every way for the month. It finished second to Fox in prime time, the evening and in the morning. The channel even had a somewhat rare margin over CNN in the category of total day ratings, with an average of 426,000 viewers to 407,000 for CNN, and 138,000 viewers to 121,000 in the 25- to 54-year-old age group that news advertisers seek."
CNN had pulled ahead of MSNBC in September with its prime-time shows among viewers 25 to 54, the piece adds. That may have been due to the departure of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who had held the 8 p.m. time slot, according to the story.
MSNBC was still a distant second to Fox, which drew 2.08 million total prime-time viewers, compared with 865,000 for MSNBC and 620,000 for CNN, the story notes.
Interestingly, if one was only to read the PR announcement CNN put out this morning about the November ratings, one would think Carter and his reporting were about a different planet.
Here’s CNN’s take on the November ratings: "CNN GAINS VIEWERS IN NOVEMBER; MSNBC DOWN -23% AND FNC DECLINES -32% IN PRIMETIME
ANDERSON COOPER 360 UP +49%; ONLY SHOW TO GROW AT 8p; FNC DOWN -23%, MSNBC -36%
CNN ONLY CABLE NEWS NETWORK TO POST DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH, UP +30% IN 2011"