With Donald Trump‘s presidency sinking and the American people increasingly craving fact-based journalism, MSNBC’s ratings over the past year have been earth-shattering.
According to Nielsen Media, the cable news network had its most-watched year since it was created in 1996.
The Hill reported on Wednesday that MSNBC finished “in second place among the news networks with 1.8 million viewers in primetime, an increase of 12 percent from 2017. Those numbers make the year the best in the history of MSNBC, which launched the same year as Fox News in 1996.”
In a pretty distant third place, CNN averaged 990,000 viewers in primetime, which is a decline of 6 percent from 2017.
MSNBC viewership is growing faster than Fox
While Fox News did edge out MSNBC in the number one spot, MSNBC viewership is growing at a faster rate, led by Rachel Maddow in the 9:00 p.m. timeslot.
The 2.5 million primetime viewers that tuned into Fox News over the past year represented a 3 percent increase from 2017. MSNBC, on the other hand, saw it’s primetime viewership climb by 12 percent.
While Fox News frequently boasts about being the most-watched cable news network on TV, it shouldn’t really be all that shocking that it has high ratings.
Like Trump‘s base of supporters, the Fox audience is committed to an alternative reality. Since it’s essentially the main source of Trump propaganda, it’s no surprise that conservative-minded Americans tune into it en masse.
For fact-based viewers, though, there are multiple networks and outlets with great journalists. They don’t necessarily ingest news as a monolith like the MAGA crowd, making it understandable that Fox News would have high ratings given its unique status as the one and only Trump State TV.
If you want to keep living in Trump‘s reality, Fox is the channel to watch. If you want actual reporting, you have more than one option.
Ultimately, though, it’s clear that MSNBC is tapping into something in the Trump era. The American people see an unhinged, corrupt president and they want truth and accountability.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.