MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell smoked Fox News in total viewership in the first two weeks of 2018 and were the #1 and #2 shows in terms of total viewers on cable news.
Here are the viewership numbers for the first two weeks of 2018 as provided to PolliticusUSA via an MSNBC release:
In all of cable news, “The Rachel Maddow Show” was #1 in total viewers for the week and also maintained its #1 status in A25-54 for the 2nd week in a row. “Maddow” delivered its best week in A25-54 (since 6/5/17), averaging 706,000 viewers A25-54 (vs. FOX News’ 565,000 and CNN’s 374,000). In total viewers, “Maddow” delivered its best week ever for the program and the network’s 2nd best week – after the 2016 Democratic National Convention (since 7/25/16). “Maddow” averaged 3,172,000 total viewers (vs. FOX News’ 2,803,000 and CNN’s 1,103,000).
“The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” beat FOX News and CNN at 10 pm in A25-54 and total viewers. This was the 2nd week in a row that “The Last Word” bested its competition. “The Last Word” averaged 517,000 viewers A25-54 (vs. FOX News’ 432,000 and CNN’s 401,000). Among total viewers, “The Last Word” averaged 2,447,000 (vs. FOX News’ 2,297,000 and CNN’s 1,096,000).
Fox News’ desperation play of moving Sean Hannity to 9 PM and bringing Trump sycophant Laura Ingraham to host the 10 PM ET hours has not been paying off in the long-run. Fox News got a temporary boost because the White House and Trump family loaded up Hannity’s show with their own appearances over the first weeks, but after the initial bounce, it is Rachel Maddow who is back on top of the cable news ratings race.
Maddow’s audience has been growing expoentially as she has spent much of her program doing deep dives into the Russia scandal. Rachel Maddow’s focus on the details while the rest of the media drowns in Trump drama has made her show the go-to stop on cable news to understand what is happening. Lawrence O’Donnell has been talking about Trump and his impact on governmental institutions in a fascinating and compelling way that has turned him into the best bookend that MSNBC could dream of for Maddow.
Fox News is sinking under the weight of Trump’s unpopularity, while this same dynamic is taking MSNBC to heights that nobody would have imagined before Election Day 2016.
Thanks to Trump, MSNBC is doing what was once unthinkable and beating Fox News.
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