Nielsen Ratings: CNN Down, Fox News Up

Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 10:56 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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CNN's ratings continue to spiral downward, with the network's prime-time shows losing half their audience, compared to February 2013.

According to the latest Nielsen ratings report, Fox News Channel is the only cable network whose total viewers climbed since this time last year, Deadline.com reports.

CNN favorite Anderson Cooper dropped by 47 percent from last February, with his 8 p.m. time slot averaging just 421,000 viewers this year. His show dipped by 46 percent in the news category for viewers age 25 to 54 to 127,000 viewers.

Part of Cooper's woes could be coming from the two shows he's sandwiched between. His lead-in, "Erin Burnett OutFront," dropped by 39 percent to average 293,000 viewers, marking CNN's lowest numbers in that time slot in more than 20 years. The Burnett show also slipped by 32 percent in the news demo, attracting 100,000 viewers.

And controversial British show host Piers Morgan, who was dropped from the network on Sunday, lost his crucial 9 p.m. time slot after his numbers plunged by 46 percent down to 347,000 viewers overall and 100,000 in the news demo, a drop of 38 percent since February 2013.

Fox News Channel, meanwhile, has been in the top spot for total viewers for 146 consecutive months.

Fox is also marking top numbers for all cable programming, ranking third in the 8 to 11 p.m. prime-time spot behind USA Network and the History Channel. Fox also ranked in fifth place for total viewers for the entire day, Deadline reports.

CNN and MSNBC did not place in the top 20 for either the prime-time spot or overall for the entire day, according to Nielsen. CNN placed at 39th during prime time and 34th for overall day, while MSNBC came in above CNN, at 26th place in prime time and 27th for overall day.

Meanwhile, Fox also placed in the top 13 cable news programs and took eight of the top 10 spots in the news demo. The O'Reilly Factor remained on top, going up by 3 percent since last February to claim 2.937 million viewers, and by 2 percent in the news demo.

Megyn Kelly's new program, "The Kelly File," is edging closer, with 2.337 million overall viewers and 354,000 in the news demo.

Rachel Maddow remained MSNBC's top attraction, averaging 996,000 total viewers and 287,000 news demo viewers at 9 p.m. However, she did not gain since last February in overall viewers.

According to Nielsen, the top 5 cable news programs in February were:
  • Total Viewers: The O’Reilly Factor (2.9 million); The Kelly File (2.3 million); Special Report w/Bret Baier (2.1 million); The Five (2.1 million); On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren (1.9 million).
  • Adults 25-54: The O’Reilly Factor (450,000); The Five (358,000); The Kelly File (354,000); Special Report w/ Bret Baier (315,000); On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (299,000).
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