Liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow gained the most from O’Reilly’s departure. Capitalizing on Donald Trump’s toughest month yet as president, Maddow won the 9 p.m. hour in total viewers over CNN and Fox News for the first time in 20 years. Although Fox News remained the top cable-news network over the course of the month, CNN and MSNBC gained significant ground on Fox and routinely won the key demographic in primetime.
Despite these setbacks, Fox News ended May and began June much stronger, suggesting Fox News could be back on the rise. On Wednesday, Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” won the 8 p.m. hour with 550,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demographic, according to TV Newser. “Hannity” won the 10 p.m. hour by more than 30,000 key-demographic viewers (MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell came in second). Also, FNC’s Bret Baier won the 6 p.m. timeslot and Martha MacCallum’s “The Story” finished in second, just barely losing to CNN’s “OutFront” with Erin Burnett.
On Thursday, Fox News performed even better, according to TV Newser’s ratings. It won handedly in primetime in the key demographic, beating competitors CNN and MSNBC in every primetime timeslot, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., except for MacCallum’s “The Story,” which fell 11,000 viewers short of matching Burnett’s “OutFront.” The biggest surprise of the night was FNC’s “The Five” beating out (barely) Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Over the past month, Maddow has dominated Fox News at the 9 p.m. timeslot. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” had the best performance of any cable-news show, easily winning the 25-54 demographic with 619,000 viewers.