Until last week, MSNBC had never beaten Fox News in primetime for an entire week in the history of cable news.
According to a press release sent to PoliticusUSA by MSNBC:
For the first time in the network’s 21-year history, MSNBC finished the week as the most-watched cable network during weekday prime (M-F 8-11pm) in total viewers. According to Nielsen, MSNBC ended the week of July 17-21 as the #1 cable network for all weekday prime, averaging 2.34 million viewers, ahead of FOX News at 2.25 million. MSNBC was previously #1 in cable news in weekday prime during the weeks of May 15, 2017 (behind TNT) and September 3, 2012 (behind USA) among total viewers, but this was the 1st time MSNBC was #1 among all of cable.
Additionally, MSNBC’s 7 pm through midnight lineup was the #1 cable network in total viewers.
Here is the list of top 5 networks for the week via Nielson:
As you can see, the departures of Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly have cost Fox News, a lot of viewers, but the surge in viewership for MSNBC is real, and it is happening across the board. MSNBC is rising during the Trump presidency, and their gains can be attributed to more of a focus on news coverage during the day and the network’s primetime coverage of the Russia scandal.
MSNBC has also benefited from the fact that many of the biggest stories related to the Trump/Russia scandal have broken in the evening. The Fox News era of cable news dominance is over. Rachel Maddow has led MSNBC to the top of cable news, and thanks to the unpopularity of Trump, their viewership can only be expected to grow.
Mr. Easley 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