For the first time, the Rachel Maddow led MSNBC beat Fox News in total viewers for an entire week.
The numbers via an MSNBC statement to PoliticusUSA:
For the week of May 15, MSNBC finished as the #1 cable news network in weekday prime (M-F 8-11pm) in both Adults 25-54 and total viewers, according to Nielsen – beating both Fox News and CNN in both key demos in the same week for the first time in the network’s history.
MSNBC was the #2 most watched network in all of cable for prime during the week of May 15 – only behind TNT, which carried several NBA playoff games – with an average of 2.44 million viewers each night. For the week of May 15, in total viewers, MSNBC weekday prime averaged 2.4 million. For Adults 25-54, MSNBC averaged 611,000 viewers (vs. CNN’s 589,000 and FOX News’ 497,000).
Four programs were #1 for the week in total viewers in their respective time periods. “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell”, “The 11th Hour” and the midnight re-air of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” beating both FOX News and CNN. “The Rachel Maddow Show” was the top ranked non-sports program in all of cable for the week.
These ratings are more evidence that a changing of the guard might be happening in cable news. Fox News looks completely lost without Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly. Tucker Carlson is winning 8 PM, but his victory may say more about the uncomfortable fit between Chris Hayes and the timeslot than it does any strength on Fox’s part. The rest of the Fox News primetime lineup is getting beaten by MSNBC.
The day has come when MSNBC, not Fox News, is the second most watched network on cable in primetime.
The MSNBC surge can be explained by the perfect match of a host (Rachel Maddow), and an unpopular president with an unfolding political scandal like the United States has never seen. The Rachel Maddow Show is the perfect program to expose Trump. Content has met its ideal moment in history, and as a result, MSNBC is the #1 network in cable news.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association