Rachel Maddow Dominates in the July Ratings

If you are looking for a reason why CNN was so eager to push Larry King out of his long running talk show and into cable news retirement, look no further than the July ratings where MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow defeated Larry King for the sixth straight month and for the seventeenth time in twenty four months, and her audience continues to grow.

From the MSNBC press release, “The Rachel Maddow Show” beat CNN’s “Larry King Live” for the sixth month in a row among both total viewers and A25-54, out-drawing King by 50 percent among A25-54 (236,000 vs. 157,000) and by 37 percent in total viewers (891,000 vs. 652,000). July marks the 17th month “The Rachel Maddow Show” has beaten “Larry King Live” in its 23 months.” Those are some pretty solid numbers for Rachel Maddow’s unabashedly wonkish MSNBC program. Maddow managed to defeat King without the benefit of celebrity guests that King features.

Even though CNN is struggling mightily in prime time, they used their press release to point out just the ratings decline of what they referred to as Fox News’ non-news programming, “Both FNC’s news and non-news programs posted substantial audience loss when comparing July to their peak in January 2010, with the network’s audience dropping off by 20-33% every hour during the day in the demo 25-54. FNC’s non-news program Fox and Friends was down 21%, Your World with Cavuto was down 33%, Glenn Beck was off 33%, The O’Reilly Factor declined 26%, Hannity lost 29% of its audience and On the Record was down 29%. Other double-digit demo losses included the 9a hour (-26%), 10a (-20%), 11a (-27%), Noon (-32%), 1p (-26%), 2p (-26%), 3p (-30%), 6p (-32%) and 7p (-32%).”

As Mediaite recently pointed out Maddow is becoming a player in the ratings, “Rachel Maddow further cemented her place as a ratings player at MSNBC, especially in Keith Olbermann’s absence, with a strong performance Thursday night. Her 9pmET show nearly doubled Larry King in the A25-54 demographic and was the only non-FNC program to have more than one million total viewers.”

Overall, FNC is still the dominant network. They are the third highest rated network in all of cable and have more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined. The contempt that the folks at CNN have for Fox News’ non-news programming as they called it almost jumps off the page. CNN has a whole lot of problems, especially in prime time, so while I am sure that pointing out FNC’s drop felt good, unlike MSNBC, they stayed far away from discussing the ratings of their individual programs.

It isn’t any surprise that Rachel Maddow is dominating CNN. Larry King went stale a long time ago, however I think her ability to draw an audience with the kind of show that she does, calm, understated, and fact based, shows that there is an audience out there for programming that is willing to actually be more journalistic than entertainment. Whoever CNN hires is going to face an uphill battle against Maddow.

If I were running CNN I would dump the ideas for a Crossfire revival, and the celebrity interview show. Instead take a page from Maddow’s book. Start treating viewers like they are smart and offer them an intelligent alternative. CNN needs an identity in prime time in the worst way. Keith Olbermann may still have MSNBC’s top show, but Rachel Maddow is the real rising star. Her show has a unique style that seems to reflect her interests, and the bad news for the rest of cable news is that she is expanding her audience.

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36 Replies to “Rachel Maddow Dominates in the July Ratings”

  1. And the good news for America is that moderates are starting to watch Rachel, which means they are getting informed. That can’t be good for the Republicans.

  2. I dont get MSNBC, I watch it once in a while from a stream on the internet. I love Racheals newscast content. Actually I like Olbermann better but both are good, especially withe the Sherrod situation. I thought Olbermann should get an Oscar for his commentary on Fox. I do wish Rachael the best of success

  3. Rachel has a fine brain, and she’s not afraid to use it.

    I agree that TRMS is “fact based,” but not that her show is “calm and understated.” Maddow projects an unusual enthusiasm and energy for the issues she discusses, many of which are handled in a dry or boring fashion by other commentators.

    The thing I appreciate most about Maddow is her grasp of history, and her associated ability to discern patterns and implications of current events within that framework of history.

  4. It may be bad news for the other news networks, but it is great news for America. We need more fact-based news programming. It is vitally necessary for our democracy. I appreciate Rachel, and also Keith, for providing it.

  5. I am happy to hear this, because it shows that more people are paying attention to this show which is a healthy antidote to the hate and fear of FOX Noise. I watch Keith Olbermann at 8 p.m. and Rachel Maddow at 9. Unlike FOX, they have a realistic grasp of facts and admit when they are wrong. While FOX inflames the worst in their viewers, Olbermann and Madow inform. While I laugh at the sarcasm they sometimes can’t keep from showing, I appreciate the fact that they are reaching more and more people who
    are hungry for actual news as opposed to being a hate-filled propaganda outlet like FOX.
    There is no comparison between these two and the commentators on FOX.

  6. I began following Rachel Maddow in 2008 during the Presidential campaign. Before she had her own show, I once watched her on a panel on MSNBC where she was a one of the contributers along with Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’S Morning Joe and she held her own with Joe in a rather heated discussion. After the break, Joe had left the set. No one explained his absence. It was very interesting. I was very excited when she was given her own show. She is dedicated to research facts and history. She is quick, highly intelligent, and knowledgeable and she stands her ground. She is not afraid to challenge a message or a messenger. She brings out information and issues not discussed on any other news program. When a hot story hits the airwaves,
    I make sure I tune in to Rachel to get the facts, the broader context and the back story
    and how it may connect or relate to other stories, because Rachel is committed to her integrity and real journalism and she takes it very seriously. She also listens and doesn’t need to drown out the guest to make her point like Chris Matthews or Dylan Ratigan also of MSNBC. I respect Rachel and I wish we had more like her.

    Even in Rachel’s absence, her show still informs. On Tuesday evening, according to Chris of the Nation, the average incomes of the top one percent of wealthy individuals in this country has risen 281% since 1979. The rest of the hard working American’s income average has only risen 19% in the same time period. Now that’s a story for the midterm and 2012 elections. If anyone has any facts or further information on this, please advise.

  7. with all this said, you know what I would like? I would like a news channel that reports news and does not promote itself or its hosts. I would like to see raw footage and I do not want to see news that is made up in a morning meeting on what they will report based on what they think people will like. Our news here is so restricted that it is pathetic. They narrow us down to a tight little beam of information on our political situation when there is a huge world out there where people are dying, starving, fighting for survival, and as well as all that, doing good things.

    I don’t write this to take anything away from Rachel or any of the better news hosts. I do not think that Rachel puts a liberal slant on the news as much as she does just report the facts. But it sure would be nice just to have one place that reports the news as it is without color commentary.

    And I do not say this in meaning that I want to do away with our current news system. It certainly has its place.

  8. Rachel Maddow is great and the reason being? She does her homework and research…She loves her job and it shows..She really gets into it with her props in trying to explain things to the common John Doe citizen to help understand the issue verses using the big words that alot of folks don’t understand..

  9. I started watching Rachel about a year ago. I kept hearing the right go on about this woman Rachel on MSNBC who had no knowledge.. lied ..didn’t do her homework.. lied about FOX just to make them look bad ..but that their numbers were way higher than hers. Of which Oreilly makes a living out of pointing out EVERY NITE! He loves his numbers and HIMSELF! That alone made me watch Rachel. BECAUSE WHATVER FOX SAYS …YOU CAN BET ITS THE OPPOSITE OF THE TRUTH!!!!! I’ve always watched Olberman but just never caught Rachel. Well, I watched and listened and haven’t stopped since then. With so few GOOD and TRUSTED “news media outlets” telling the REAL NEWS…Rachel is one true gifted reporter that I can honestly say I trust wholeheartedly. She will not lead you on with BS. She will not lie to you. She will tell the truth even if its gonna hurt your favorite candidate. She WILL call you out! That’s true journalism. Thats honesty I truly can respect and watch! I don’t think FOX knows what NEWS is. Clearly Rachel’s knowledge and skill at conveying whats happening in our world today is a real threat to the haters at FOX channel who only do wild theories to rile up and scare the white folks and seniors so they can keep their votes and remind them daily they should hate the black President because he’s out to get your guns and country!! NO FACTS. NO HOPE. NO NOTHING. Just the other day Hannity and his guest sat there and went on and on–as if it was really true–about how Obama is going to tell us us what we can read and what we can’t read. What we can listen to on the radio and what we can’t!!!! Are you ready for that? Do they really beleive we’re that stupid to believe such stupid elementary crap? More importantly, are THEIR LISTENERS that stupid to believe it? I guess so, and conveniently so. WOW! Just WOW was all I could think and changed the channel. Outrageous LIES never stop on FOX! Just like the SHerrod video. LIES. They fear Rachel because she will call you out on FACTS! Something FOX does not DO. She fears no one ..not even her numbers. She will diplomatically kick your ass and still be a lady while doing it. I love her! I think my most favorite of Rachel was when Joe Wilson pulled the YOU LIE on Obama! I thought I would die laughing every time Rachel used it. YOU LIE!!! LOL! It was just hysterical. She can be so funny! Excellent newscaster!

  10. I don’t get the headline “Rachel Maddow Dominates in the July Ratings”. What is it she is dominating? Certainly not the airwaves. She gets less than half the viewers of whatever show she’s up against on Fox, Hannity at 9 PM and O’Reilly at 11:00 PM.

  11. I feel bad for MSNBC,which is really on life support,but if they would just drastically make changes,like firing Olbermann,Maddow,Sanchez etc.and start putting good looking men and women that are pleasing to look at with less fire and acid on their spit.It’s not too late to start all over,I know the truth hurts,but just take a look at Fox’s babes..Julie,Martha, Megan,Harris,I mean come on..sometimes you just need something visual,then the politics can play out later.If this was a corporation in the real world that I know,Keith,Rachel,Rick,Chris,Ed.. would be so fired and I’m not even talking about their ratings,just how they present themselves on TV is repulsive and butt ugly too,nothing personal just criticism with good intentions…and for Maddow, take a page from Ellen DeGeneres’ handlers,they made her look watchable…big fan.

  12. Does anyone really think MSNBC is fair or balanced? Why even try to fix MSNBC, let them fail, like so many others on the left have, their message stinks and the ratings reflect accurately.

  13. Actually Ed,Rachel,Chris and Keith are just a train wreck..with the smerk on their faces would not engage in discussions with different point of views without getting shouted down or screamed at..

  14. none of those ratings you show here are accurate. fox dominates 24/7 the dike rachel maddow is as entertaining as a dead wet smelly snail.

  15. All these negative comments about Rachel, I guess she is doing something right…like her reporting from Iraq. And who is reporting for Iraq from Fox as the troops leave?

  16. Boy, this whole site is one big liberal circle-jerk. You guys should stop patting each other on the back for your failures and get out and make some real changes!!!! If you reported the actual numbers, you would see that Fox is still CRUSHING everyone. Here are the numbers for from Cable News Ratings for Friday, August 20, 2010

    9 PM – P2+ (25-54) (35-64)
    Hannity– 1,588,000 viewers (357,000) (633,000)
    Larry King Live —392,000 viewers (100,000) (154,000)
    Rachel Maddow Show —582,000 viewers (197,000) (266,000)
    Bio: Frank Purdue – 223,000 viewers (a scratch w/53,000) (64,000)
    Joy Behar – 371,000 viewers (78,000) (142,000)

    Hannity is pulling in 3 TIMES the viewers that “Madcow” is. At least she beat the biography on Frank Purdue. It’s got to be tough for a network to pay its bills with abysmal numbers like these!

    Read for yourself – http://tvbythenumbers.com/2010/08/23/cable-news-ratings-for-friday-august-20-2010/60804#more-60804

  17. The headline is misleading- just like MSNBC and Fox talk shows. Fox News is whipping the daylights out of MSNBC in ratings – and has been for a long time. It’s not even remotely close.

    I respect Maddow slightly more in that she will – ever once in blue moon- have someone on her show that doesn’t see things exactly as she sees them. That’s more than can be said for Keith who isn’t confident enough to have anyone on his show that doesn’t see things exactly as he does. I often wonder if the man has a man crush on Bill O because he talks about him so much. Fox will actually engage people each night that have different viewpoints which is more than Keith will ever do. But of course they are biased on Fox just like Keith and Rachel are biased.

  18. You should advise the less than armed in the battle of wits that all you have to do is google Neilsen ratings and see that Fox is SIMPLY killing all others. And shiva can’t even spell rachel’s name.

  19. awwwwwwwwww, a spelling cop! YES!!!!!

    And you cant read, as the article did say that Fox was dominant. Did that elude ya?

    Always remember that quantity doesn’t equal quality. To prove my point, the WWE makes fox look like the last ant in a 10 foot deep anthill in ratings. Fox has been caught lying multitudes of times. Do you soak it up?

  20. More people are watching rachel??? why??? keith and rachel need to build a bridge and over themselves, people are going to be informed with crap and bullshit

  21. agreed its not even close, more americans are realizing that msnbc is just preaching to the choir…and that choir is getting smaller and smaller, and all that will be left are the people trying to get weed legalized and compassion for high taxes

  22. Somebody from MSNBC should remind their anchormen about dress code, Rachel doesn’t wear a tie, he must heed to conformity and he should get a hair cut and a shave.

  23. I dont know who is watching the ratings monitor but she makes my ears bleed. Initially she was quirky and had a decent delivery, but subsequently I came to realize she wasnt really “saying” anything. In fact she had the pesky habit of doing nothing but interjecting her own liberal agenda as the byline and trying to pass it off as news. Maddow, Schultz, Ollberman and Matthews should get new agents..for a group of high dollar talk show host, their pulse on the People is officially on life support..If they pulled their heads out of Obama’s backside for a minute, they would be alerted to the very real fact they and their agenda’s have been career killers..let them go write books and stay out of the public’s face..

  24. FNC is simply a better product. Their set makes MSNBC look like a community access channel from 1978. Their anchors are more polished. It’s funny that for all his teary eyed pleas we know that Keith has someone at political conventions that syat with his clothing. He’s not making mac and cheese at home to make ends meet. Democrats like the Clintons and Gores etc are just as wealthy as Republicans. The difference is that Democrats are always in favor of bigger handouts. Republicans are always in favor of giving businesses tax breaks. There has to be a some kind of compromise that neither FNC or MSNBC are exploring because they too have to pay the light bill.

  25. I’ve watched Maddow’s show since (literally) the first episode, and I’ve never seen her shout down or scream at anyone. She has never been disrespectful of her guests, even when David Frum was on the show and decided to ambush her about using humor and sarcasm.

  26. I didn’t get to finish my comment. I hit the wrong key, and it sent my message. So, here’s my finish.

    She is great at presenting the real and actual facts, supported by research. She’s great at letting her guests finish their statements. She’s always cordial. She does seem to appeal to the “thinking” person, not the easily brainwashed who follow Fox blindly. She is constantly inviting the folks from the right to come on her show. When Paul came on, he put his foot in his mouth. The guests know they have to tell it truthfully or she will point out their errors. Thanks for Rachel!!!!

  27. Maddow is just a lesbian version of Jon Stewart…..her approach is the same….her mannerisms are the same…..she’s not even close to being original. She’s actually pretty annoying. I’m guessing that the same people who watch Stewart watch Maddow. But most Americans still watch Faux Snooze. Maddow and the Dem gang appeal to the hoity-toity Ivy Leaguers, Faux Snooze appeals to the middle, working class American.

  28. I know this is impolitic….


    Look at that long giraffe neck, too! Just weird.

    I actually think she is overly pedantic and frankly quite annoying. She tries to be snarky, but just can’t seem to pull it off in a way that makes her likeable.

    Megyn Kelly could run circles around her intellectually. Rachel is not as smart as she pretends to be.

  29. All those who’d rather watch the psuedo news of FNC rather than the factual & real news that Maddow & MSNBC provide is what is wrong with America today. If we didnt have Maddow we’d really be in trouble.

  30. Why is it that you equate high ratings with some kind of certification process. Certified nuts is usually what attracts large audiences. I’m not saying that’s the only case, just that I would not base the value of the show on the “ratings”. More people are Christian in this country than not. Now that’s changing fast because we can’t have 9,000 year old neaderthals and millions of years old dinasours and still have a creation that took place what a few thousand years ago. Athiest are doubling at a rate for the last 2 years. So, we can safely assume, Christians have a currently bigger following. But of course that’s not any proof of creationism now is it. It fact, it shows people would rather follow rather hopeless dreams instead of reality. Oh, I’m sure I’m guilt of it at times too because it’s a human trait. So the fact fox has high ratings is actually just about what it should be for being a ridiculous fantasy.

  31. yes, she’s a smart girl. Sad to hear Oblermann is no longer on the network and probably won’t be again. I can only hope I’m wrong. I loved them both. Kieth made me cry more, Rachel has a great grasp on history and coming up with stories and angles one would not have though of.

    She’ll do well!

  32. I wanted to tell you of this important fact. The top 2% pay only 13% of less on their income. Now that may not be such a big deal, but since they are responsible for over half the total yearly US income, that means that nearly half our income is being taxed at a little above 10%. If one does the math a bit more, it means that if this 2% would pay even just 25% of thier taxes, we’d have no deficit, we’d have infrastructure, and education system and yes, even a high armed armed forces for those obsesses with that.

    I don’t think a lot of people realize that many or most people, and when you include corporations, are paying about 4% tax rates. And that difference could mean a whole different world for us and out future. Research if you are interested -and by all means tell people.

    GiGi jacobs

  33. you are kidding are you not. fox ratings beat MSNBC AND CNN. i stomach that maddow chic about 3-5 minutes each night to watch her laugh at herself. she has no republicans at all on her shows and its all a joke to her. please stop with the lying, she sucks and is boring

  34. Basically you are saying that you didnt or cant read the article, or typical of a fox follower cannot understand the article correct?

    I can get hannity over here to explain it to you if you want.

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