MSNBC hits 7-year low, lags behind Fox News, CNN

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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MSNBC recently changed its primetime lineup, swapping Ed Schultz for Chris Hayes at 8 p.m. ET. The switch, many thought, would bolster the network’s numbers in the coveted 25-54 demographic, but three months later, that hasn’t been the case.

In numbers released by Nielsen Media Research, MSNBC has fallen to third in the primetime race, behind CNN. But it gets worse for MSNBC, with its “total day” ranking dropping to fourth place, behind Fox News, CNN and HLN.

This quarter marks the 46th straight quarter that Fox News has been first in “total day” and “primetime” as it continues to dominate the cable news show rankings. Fox held the top 13 programs in cable news based on total viewers for the entire quarter and claimed nine out of the top 10 programs in the 25-54 demographic.

2nd Quarter 2013 vs. 2nd Quarter 2012 NIELSEN NUMBERS (7 day week, L+SD):

FNC: 1,179,000 total viewers — up 12 percent (238,000 in 25-54 — down 6 percent)
CNN: 475,000 total viewers — up 49 percent; (161,000 in 25-54 — up 69 percent)
HLN: 390,000 total viewers — up 61 percent; (141,000 in 25-54 — up 48 percent)
MSNBC: 360,000 total viewers — down 9 percent; (122,000 in 25-54 — down 5 percent)


FNC: 1,889,000 total viewers — up 5 percent; (317,000 in 25-54 — down 11 percent)
CNN: 666,000 total viewers — up 49 percent; (228,000 in 25-54 — up 77 percent)
MSNBC: 576,000 total viewers — down 16 percent; (191,000 in 25-54 — down 12 percent)
HLN: 518,000 total viewers — up 49 percent; (178,000 in 25-54 — up 51 percent)

But the bad news doesn’t end there for MSNBC. In its first full quarter on air, “All in with Chris Hayes” posted the lowest rated 8 p.m. hour in the 25-54 demo for MSNBC since the first quarter of 2006. And the network’s 10 p.m. program, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” also hit a seven that demo, going back to the fourth quarter of 2006.

CNN, six months into its bold rebranding effort led by its president, Jeff Zucker, continues to lag far behind Fox News. However, with help from breaking news events, CNN rebounded from a 21-year low.