CNN ratings rise in August, other networks down

posted at 11:21 am on August 28, 2013 by Bruce McQuain

Perhaps it is a matter of reaping what you sow.  Or maybe it’s just that August is a traditionally slow news month (if you don’t believe it’s a slow news month, why do you suppose I’m doing a story about cable news network ratings?).  Regardless, the folks at MSNBC have to be concerned with what their ratings numbers are telling them:

MSNBC continued its rough 2013 in the ratings, continuing to lose significant audience from 2012. The problems were particularly prevalent in primetime, with some shows losing close to -50% of viewers.

Losing 50% of your viewers on some of their primetime shows is likely not a “momentary blip”.  Instead, it’s probably something else a bit more dire.

Compared to August 2012, MSNBC was down -28% in total viewers and -32% in the A25-54 demographic in total day and -36% and -32%, respectively, in primetime. MSNBC was the only cable channel to see viewership growth last August, thanks in part to live coverage from the Olympics.

Hmmm … not pretty.  Those are very big numbers.  Obviously you have to factor in the Olympics as a big part of the slip, but MSNBC’s viewership was never particularly large to begin with.

Primetime shows:

In primetime, “The Rachel Maddow Show” posted all-time low ratings in total and demo viewers, down -43% and -47%, respectively. “The Last Word” posted a low in total viewers, losing -40% of its total viewer audience and -42% of its demo audience. at 8 PM, “All in” was down -48% and -42% in total and demo viewers, respectively, placing behind CNN for the hour.

Dude … if you’re behind CNN, well, you’re behind.

Mornings?

“Morning Joe” was down -9% in total viewers and -17% in the A25-54 demographic compared to the same month last year …

That could probably be attributed to the difference between an August with the Olympics and an August without them.

Daytime?

In dayside, MSNBC was down double digits in pretty much every hour in total and demo viewers, including 6 PM’s “PoliticsNation,” which was down -31% and -37% in total and demo viewers, and 3 PM’s “The Cycle,” which was down -15% and -18% in total and demo viewers.

In fact, everything was down except for one show.

One of the few programs to improve year to year was “The Ed Show” on Saturday and Sunday, which was up both days in total viewers, and in the demo on Saturday. This may help explain why the channel replaced the 5 PM edition of “Hardball” with the former weekend program.

That should tell you all  you need to know about most MSNBC viewers.

Total’s for the month:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 520,000 Total Viewers / 173,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 348,000 Total Viewers / 119,000 A25-54

Again, TV Newser points out that August is a slow news month and the comparison is made against August of last year that had Olympic coverage.

CNN:

CNN actually posted positive numbers for August.  Perhaps some of their changes are beginning to have some effect, but, as the total numbers indicate, their viewership is still the lowest.

Compared to August 2012, CNN is up +9% in A25-54 and up +6% in total viewers in primetime, and up +13% in A25-54 and up +6% in total viewers in total day. Last August every cable news channel was down except for MSNBC, which benefited in part from Olympics coverage.

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 451,000 Total Viewers / 134,000 A25-54

  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 346,000 Total Viewers / 108,000 A25-54

CNN is very close to MSNBC’s total day numbers and gaining in primetime.

And Fox?

Compared to August 2012, Fox News was down -10% in total viewers and -24% in the A25-54 demographic in total day. In primetime, the network was down -15% and -24%, respectively. The network was down in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic in every hour of programming from 9am-11pmET, except for “The Five,” which was flat in total viewers and down -25% in the demo.

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 1,543,000 total viewers / 251,000 A25-54

  • Total Day Mon-Sun): 968,000 total viewers / 192,000 A25-54

Still not even close and that’s with Hannity down 21% in total viewers and 29% in demo and O’Reilly down 9% in total viewers and 25% in demo.

In fact:

Despite the year-over-year losses, Fox News notched the top 13 programs in total viewers and the top 11 programs in the demo in all of cable news this month.

Interesting.

Take heart, MSNBC, you could be Al Jazeera which launched it’s US network this week:

The 2 PM Saturday edition of “News Live” averaged 48,000 viewers, while “Inside Story” Thursday at 12:30 PM averaged 41,000 viewers. “News Live” Thursday from 12-12:30 averaged 40,000. The debut edition of “The Stream” on Tuesday averaged 38,000 viewers, below Nielsen’s accuracy threshold, while the debut of “America Tonight” averaged 34,000 viewers.

The launch hour, which was Tuesday afternoon at 3 PM, and featured a preview of what was to come on the channel, averaged 22,000 viewers, below Nielsen’s minimum accuracy threshold. In other words, Nielsen says it cannot accurately count how many people watched it, and the number it gives is essentially a rough guess. This is also called “scratching.”

~McQ

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

It’s Audust. People travel.

Without airports CNN’s rating would be half.

Ben Hur on August 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM

All that Jaz

Shy Guy on August 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM

/must read bottom lines

Shy Guy on August 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Without airports CNN’s rating would be half.

Ben Hur on August 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I think that’s actually considered a different channel. CNN Airport, or some such.

Chris of Rights on August 28, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Chris of Rights on August 28, 2013 at 11:27 AM

CNN International.

kingsjester on August 28, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Such news makes The Onion’s p*** take of a CNN editor’s letter even more delicious:

jangle12 on August 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM

So, Fox is down because it’s not an election year and the candidate preferred by their opinion shows lost.

And, MSNBC is down because it’s not an election year. But, for them, that should be countered somewhat by the fact that their candidate won, right?

No?

Huh. Strange, that.

Chris of Rights on August 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM

kingsjester on August 28, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Thanks. I don’t travel for work nearly as much as I did a few years ago. I couldn’t remember.

Chris of Rights on August 28, 2013 at 11:31 AM

As soon as the 6-10 year old demographic realizes MSNBC’s Mr. Ed Show is about a talking horse’s rear end, Ed’s ratings will flu, too.

cartooner on August 28, 2013 at 11:32 AM

MSMORON should take a hint from the demise of Air America: creating an entire network packed solid with blowhard, leftist, jackhats who couldn’t analyze their way out of a wet sack isn’t a good business model.

Related: My buddy Pat and I saw a guy getting into a pickup with an actual “Air America” bumper sticker on it at Menards, I didn’t know such stickers even existed. Pat called it out to the guy and guffawed, the dude got a look on his face and just closed the door.

Bishop on August 28, 2013 at 11:32 AM

It also compares August of an election year with August of not a whole lot going on. VP rollout, conventions, daily polling, people actually deluded thinking we’re going to have a fair election and get rid of some statists – none of that this year.

Of course, that can be seen in Fox’s decline vs. August 2012. MSNBC’s huge dropoff goes well beyond that, to the point of even that plus Olympic coverage coming into play doesn’t account for it. It isn’t as if a lot of great Olympic stuff was on MSNBC either – CNBC had the boxing. The big stuff was on NBC primetime 5 hours after ESPN, all of Twitter, and NBC’s own stupid promos spoiled the results for everybody. MSNBC had what, like transgender underwater synchronized javelin? I expect that’s a good lead-in for Maddow’s audience, but not enough to justify losing 40%+ of viewers.

Gingotts on August 28, 2013 at 11:32 AM

LOL

cmsinaz on August 28, 2013 at 11:32 AM

2012 was an election year …

besser tot als rot on August 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM

The definitive question on whether PMSDNC collapsed – where were their ratings for mid-August 2011?

Steve Eggleston on August 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Take heart, MSNBC, you could be Al Jazeera which launched it’s US network this week:

Actually MSNBC and the al-Qaeda News Network are competing for the exact same eyeballs.

NotCoach on August 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

I used to watch Fox before it became RINO central.

echosyst on August 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I watched some of “All In” for the first time the other day. It looked like a high school A-V project to me. The host sounds and looks like a 10th grader wearing hid dad’s suit and his mom’s glasses. And the content was just a bunch of boot licking. Very boring.

forest on August 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Prediction: Within a year, Al Jazeera America will no longer be using that name. They’ll change their name to “AJ TV” or something like that.

J.S.K. on August 28, 2013 at 11:46 AM

I’m sure MSNBC’s ratings will improve once “Disrupt” with the erudite Karen Finney begins to take hold and bring viewers back.

EastofEden on August 28, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Yes, last year was an election year – full of HOPE for a CHANGE in administrations. That did not happen. Could there be others like me that are just flat out discouraged and disgusted? The people that wanted your money and vote in 2012 now treat me like the proverbial “red-headed step-child.” What is in the news to watch? The fall of a once great nation.

KCsecurity1976 on August 28, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Fox needs to heed this warning … they are becoming too liberal. Hiring too many liberals, both from CNN and to sit on the panels on Special Report – They even had two libs vs one on last weekend. It was glaring. We watch less and less and less. Just read blogs and listen to talk radio on the laptop.

djl130 on August 28, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Republican convention was held beginning August 27.

Hurricane Isaac formed on Aug 21, 2012, and delayed the start of the Republican Convention.

No hurricanes so far this year, and no campaigning.

Reno_Dave on August 28, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I used to watch Fox before it became RINO central.

echosyst on August 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I’m down to Baer x 5 per week.

Fox needs to heed this warning … they are becoming too liberal. Hiring too many liberals, both from CNN and to sit on the panels on Special Report – They even had two libs vs one on last weekend. It was glaring. We watch less and less and less. Just read blogs and listen to talk radio on the laptop.

djl130 on August 28, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Yep. The 6pm Special Report was supposed to be their primary hard news offering, but they’ve watered it down by lowering standards for ‘the panel’. It started with the featherweight Charles Lane and got worse from there.

slickwillie2001 on August 28, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Fox has become very, very boring, predictable, and liberal.

The only decent shows on Fox these days are Cavuto, Special Report (not the panel, mind you), Greta, and Red Eye. Everything else on the network is tabloid or some liberal airing their talking-points to Sean “boilerplate” Hannity.

Punchenko on August 28, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Fox needs to heed this warning … they are becoming too liberal.

djl130 on August 28, 2013 at 11:52 AM

I disagree. They are not becoming too liberal compared to the competition. They simply feature too many “to be fair” establishment Republicans instead of giving conservatives their fair time. Put another way, too many Karl Rove interviews about how defunding Obamacare won’t work instead of interviewing those that support the measure.

But, frankly, Fox News is not the network it once was. Disappointed that the only shake up is with Hannity and not getting rid of O’Reilly, Shep Smith, and Greta.

Happy Nomad on August 28, 2013 at 12:02 PM

National Review is also pretty awful, FWIW.

Punchenko on August 28, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Ed Schultz is a bombastic take no prisoners idiot. But then were a country full of idiots.

gerrym51 on August 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Just read blogs and listen to talk radio on the laptop.

djl130 on August 28, 2013 at 11:52 AM

I know what you mean. I set up my house and patio with screens and audio pushed through an amp that sends sound to several areas. I cancelled satellite TV after the superbowl and find we typically are streaming Hugh Hewitt during early prime time and switch to Levin until the late news or if something worth watching is on.

My goal is to get sports channels streaming so college football rivalry day is on several screens again. Real Clear Politics and several others provide plenty of political content.

DanMan on August 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I’m going to go watch Leave It To Beaver after all of this good news.

docflash on August 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I rarely turn on Fox anymore unless Mark Levin or Ted Cruz are making an appearance. The last 5 or 6 times I randomly flipped to RINO Central, Rove’s big head defiled my screen! Get him, Juan and Beckel off the set! Tired of “fair and balanced!” I want “truth with a backbone!”

PaddyORyan on August 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM

People are starting to just turn off their TVs and just getting any news they care for from the Internet.

Dollayo on August 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Maybe the reason why MSNBC is losing ratings is because local mental institutions have made sure their patients all stay on their medications.

pilamaye on August 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

MSNBC continued its rough 2013 in the ratings, continuing to lose significant audience from 2012. The problems were particularly prevalent in primetime, with some shows losing close to -50% of viewers.

Well, the competition for the asylum viewers must be fierce!

cajunpatriot on August 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

O’Reilly and Hannity give too much time to loons on the left. I record their shows and can usually watch both of them in 20 minutes with my DVR after fast-forwarding through liberals and O’Reilly interrupting his guests.

If I want to listen to liberals, I’d watch MSNBC.

cajunpatriot on August 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

I just pulled out my collection of all 9 seasons of the X-files, complete. I’m going to start at the top during primetime.

There’s going to be three more years of Obumbles running this country into the ground and nobody with any backbone to oppose him. Frankly, I’m tired of it and I’m also bored with it. I’m going with Mulder and Scully.

I also ordered a brand new set of diamond flat laps. When I get tired of re-run TV, I’m going to be working on some baubles up in the workshop.

trigon on August 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Call it the Netflix/YouTube effect. I rarely watch fox anymore. Politically speaking with the nutless leadership in the GOPe, it’s all hopeless until 2014 elections. It’s one thing to watch when there’s a chance of turning things around but with the GOPe set and determined to cave on everything why watch when you can read a blog or two. Hopeless.

As for breaking disasters, I have YouTube to cut to the drama, otherwise I pass my evenings with Netflix.

Doesn’t mean that I won’t be there when enough get fed up to rally the pitchforks, tar and feathers. Count me in with relish. Until then, I feel like the blonde in those “Obama is awesome…” cartoons. I don’t care, the GOPe are nutless!

AH_C on August 28, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Fox has all but lost me. Too many libs now. Too many Republican squishes.

I’ll DVR Bret’s shows a few times a week, skipping through much of it to get to the panel. I’ll watch Fox if there is something big happening. But any other viewing is spotty and off and on. I refuse to watch F&F and Shep. O’Reilly is almost in that group, too. Hannity is usually boring and predictable. Now Kelly, at best a moderate, is moving into primetime. I think I’ll pass.

As for daytime news, I get better up to date news on the I’net.

farsighted on August 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

News just makes me angry these days… I peek in on Drudge to make sure we aren’t actually at war in Syria yet. But it is all heart ache watching the American dream crumble in prime time. It is just too sad to watch.

petunia on August 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

CNN actually posted positive numbers for August.

but,

CNN Posts Lowest-Rated Month Since Jeff Zucker Took Control of Network

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 28, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I believe Fox has deliberately veered left as a trial balloon to corral more moderate voters and increase viewership. If Hannity goes, there will no conservatives on Fox prime time. O’Reilly has morphed into an arrogant, ratings-driven independent contractor hawking his own books and Kelly, being personable and attractive, will make an initial splash but quickly fade. Economic necessity will eventually push Fox back to the right.

MaiDee on August 28, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Well the MSNBC program is a repetitive. First you have Maddow, then a bit later she changes suits, dons a blond wig (doesn’t she look great with longer hair? and does a show called All In. A bit later she puts on black face and a horrible imitation of a black street preacher.

pat on August 28, 2013 at 1:41 PM

One of the few programs to improve year to year was “The Ed Show” on Saturday and Sunday, which was up both days in total viewers, and in the demo on Saturday.

Do these people “have a life”?
About the only news show I watch on the weekend is FoxNewsSunday – and that’s DVR’d as I’ve usually got more productive things to catch up on.

Another Drew on August 28, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Don’t ya just love the competing headlines found on the “interwebs”:

CNN ratings rise in August, other networks down

From Drudge:

CNN Lowest-Rated Month Since Jeff Zucker Took Control of Network

RADIOONE on August 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

I completely stopped watching all news channels.

earlgrey133 on August 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM

I used to watch Fox before it became RINO central.

echosyst on August 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM

And I got sick of Hannity talking about his hybrid Cadillac Escapade and how he’s a “Reagan Republican”.

Totally worn out by O’Reilly’s smugness and defending BS that I know just isn’t true no matter how loudly he interjects and talks over his guests. I do like his support of our military and wanting tougher legislation against the child-raping scum out there.

Can still handle Cavuto, but he’s oddly Pollyanna-ish given the economic situation. Guess he has a really good bug out location and a plan.

I watch Fox and Friends because I don’t want to watch the Leftist morning shows, but they still suck. Heck, some mornings I don’t even bother turning Fox on before work.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 28, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Escalade…dang, it’s amazing how you don’t catch things until after you post them…huh.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 28, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Without airports CNN’s rating would be half.

Ben Hur on August 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM

And Mcdonald’s, too, at least around where I live and work, though there is one that has a TV tuned into FOX News.

stukinIL4now on August 28, 2013 at 5:18 PM

All you guys bellyaching about Fox News need to get TheBlaze. This is Glenn Beck’s channel and it is excellent for news, especially Wilcow. The small monthly cost is well worth it! If you get Fox Business channel, watch Stossel. He always has interesting shows.

Decoski on August 28, 2013 at 6:06 PM