Fox News Reigns As Ratings King For 13th Straight Year, CNN Posts All-Time Lows

Al Weaver Reporter
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For the 13th consecutive year, Fox News clocked in as the most-watched network for cable news, leading the way in both the highly-coveted 25-54 demographic and in overall viewership.

Although the network dropped four percent this year in its total day viewers in both the demo and in overall numbers, Fox came in second among all cable networks in overall primetime numbers, only behind ratings behemoth ESPN, according to Nielsen ratings.

The king of cable news also boasts the top nine hours of cable news in the 25-54 demo, with every hour between 5 p.m.-midnight registering at the top, including the 11 p.m. repeat of “The O’Reilly Factor.” O’Reilly’s show also sits atop the cable news ratings in both the demo and in overall viewership.

CNN delivered its lowest-rated year ever in primetime total viewership and its second lowest-rated year ever in the 25-54 demo. 2014 was also CNN’s worst rated year ever in the demo in total day numbers. (RELATED: CNN To Wave Goodbye To 300 Staffers Amid Turner Cuts)

The Turner network also languished behind in the overall primetime figures, pulling in at NO. 31, just behind BET and Animal Planet. In a memo sent to his staff, CNN executive Jeff Zucker said that the network experienced a “terrific year,” though he noted it was “not without its challenges.”

Meanwhile, MSNBC’s numbers decreased in an array of categories. Strikingly, two of the networks flagship shows, “Morning Joe” and “The Rachel Maddow Show” suffered sharp decreases in viewership. “Morning Joe” incurred its lowest full year ever, averaging 347,000 in overall viewers (down 15 percent) and 100,000 in the demo (down 26 percent).

In her first full year going head-to-head with Megyn Kelly at Fox, Maddow’s program averaged 843,000 in total viewers (down two percent) and 196,000 in the 25-54 demo (down 18 percent). The liberal anchor’s program is currently at all-time lows in both categories.

“It’s no secret that 2014 was a difficult year for the entire cable news industry and especially for msnbc,” network executive Phil Griffin said in a staff wide memo.

Interestingly, Griffin brushed aside the networks poor overall ratings for the year and propped up their popularity within minority communities, especially amongst African-Americans and Hispanics.

“[We] were the only network to see our Hispanic audience increase over the past year,” Griffin said. “In fact, in 2014 msnbc become the top-rated cable network for Hispanic viewers 25-54 during Monday-Friday primetime … For the fifth consecutive year, we were the number one cable network for African-Americans in demo and total viewers. Our African-American audience is double that of CNN’s and more than seven times that of Fox News.”