Rachel Maddow and MSNBC are experiencing double-digit ratings growth with younger viewers while Fox News has seen their viewership decline by 11% with persons age 25-54.
According to MSNBC, “The Rachel Maddow Show tops CNN for regularly scheduled shows in total viewers (953,000 vs. 547,000) and the A25-54 demo (171,000 vs. 159,000) for the month of October 2015….MSNBC continues to gain momentum in the ratings over last year. MSNBC is up in the key A25-54 demo over October 2014 including “Morning Joe” (+16%), “Hardball with Chris Matthews” (+8%), “All In with Chris Hayes” (+28%), “The Rachel Maddow Show” (+31%), and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (25%). For M-F Prime 8-11pm, MSNBC is up (+29%) in the A25-54 demo over last year.”
As MSNBC is growing, and CNN’s audience is up an amazing 101%, Fox News has seen a ratings decline, “But unlike CNN and MSNBC, Fox News was down in the A25-54 demo vs. Oct. 2014: down -11 percent in total day and down -1 percent in prime time. Among total viewers, the network saw growth: up +3 percent in both total day and in primetime.”
MSNBC is up by double digits. CNN is up by triple digits, and Fox News has flatlined. Much of CNN’s growth came from the record-setting Democratic debate, but MSNBC is the only cable network not to have aired a debate yet, and they are growing over eight times faster than Fox.
As much as NBC News brass appear to want Joe Scarborough to be the face of MSNBC, Rachel Maddow is the franchise. She is the star that primetime is built around. Maddow has scored recent interviews with Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley.
Maddow’s ratings grew nearly eight times faster than those of Megyn Kelly on Fox News, because Maddow does something that Fox News doesn’t. Rachel Maddow attracts younger viewers. Fox News has struggled for years to attract younger viewers, and the fact that they barely hung on to defeat CNN in October suggests that Fox’s reign of ratings dominance could be weakening.
While Fox is sliding, Maddow has one of the fastest growing programs on cable news. After spending years being bogged down by poor MSNBC management, the audience for The Rachel Maddow Show is growing again.