For the first time in the history of the cable ratings, MSNBC was the top network overall, as the network tops CNN and Fox News.
MSNBC averaged 1.4M total viewers during total day (M-Su 6am-6am) (vs. CNN’s 1.2M and FOX News’ 1.3M), propelling the network to the #1 spot in cable for the 1st time ever (ahead of #2 FOX News, #3 CNN and #4 HGTV). Among total viewers, MSNBC increased viewership by +36% during total day while FOX News shed viewers by double digits (-32%) compared to Feb. 2020. A25-54 viewership was up +29% for MSNBC during total day vs. Feb. 20 while FOX News lost -38% of viewers.
“The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9pm finished February as the highest-rated regularly scheduled program across all of cable television for the 2nd straight month. “Maddow” averaged 3.7M total viewers (vs. FOX News’ 3M and CNN’s 2.2M) — a double digit gain in total viewers (+32%) over Feb. 2020. FOX News’ “Hannity” lost -31% of total viewers compared to Feb. 2020. “Maddow” also dominated the demo finishing #1 in A25-54 with 593K viewers (vs. CNN’s 510K and FOX News’ 440K). In A25-54, “Maddow” increased viewership by +36% compared to Feb. 2020 while FOX News shed -39% of viewers.
Sean Hannity’s viewership is down by 31% and the viewership for Fox and Friends has plunged by 40%.
The right-wing has been reduced under Trump to a small fringe, and those outlets like Fox who continue to cater to the fringe will continue to watch their viewership dwindle.
There were some who predicted rough days ahead for MSNBC without the insanity and corruption of Donald Trump to cover, but instead, the reshaping of American politics that has happened under Joe Biden has also transformed the cable news landscape.
MSNBC has built a deep and talented roster of shows while Fox News has never recovered from firing Bill O’Reilly and the departure of Megyn Kelly.
The mainstream media continues to cater to Republicans, but the center-left MSNBC is dominating cable.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is 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