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Fox Still Tops in Cable News, but CNN Leaps MSNBC for No. 2 Spot

Fox News remained among the most-watched cable news network in 2013, the network announced, but CNN has overtaken MSNBC to be rated No. 2 in for the first time in two years, CNN said Tuesday. MSNBC is now third on the cable-news ratings list.

CNN's total viewership hit remained fairly stable at 414,000 compared to 416,000 a year ago, compared to MSNBC, which lost close to a quarter of its audience in 2013 compared to 2012 — down 21 percent in total viewers to 397,000.

In the coveted age group from 25 to 54, MSNBC was down 20 percent, to 133,000, according to the CNN release, which said it relied on data from Nielsen media research.

Fox was off 5 percent in total viewers and down 18 percent in the 25-54 age group in 2013.

Fox is still on top among that most-wanted age group, but CNN said it also narrowed the gap with Fox by a third in 2013, from 140,000 to 93,000 viewers. That means Fox's viewers in that higher wage-earning and spending bracket numbered 225,000 last year, compared to CNN's 132,000, CNN reported.

CNN finished third in prime-time programming, ending the year closer to MSNBC than it has in years.

Fox's 7 p.m. "On the Record" was down 4 percent in 2013; CNN's "Erin Burnett Outfront"  was up in total viewers by 10 percent; and MSNBC's "Hardball" was down 16 percent.

At 8 p.m., Fox is still on top with "The O'Reilly Factor," although it lost 5 percent of viewers; "AC 360," CNN's highest-rated weekday show, was up 18 percent in viewers; and MSNBC's 8 p.m. programming, now featuring "All In with Chris Hayes," lost 31 percent of its audience.

Fox's 9 p.m. programming was down 10 percent last year; "The Kelly File," hosted by Megyn Kelly, debuted later in 2013. CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" at 9 p.m. was up 1 percent in total viewers to 590,000, while MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" had a sharp 24 percent decline.

In the morning, "Fox & Friends" still rules after 13 years at the top. CNN's morning show "New Day" was third, but narrowed the gap with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" by more than half, to 99,000 viewers for "New Day" and 132,000 for "Morning Joe."






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Fox News remained among the most-watched cable news network in 2013, the network announced, but CNN has overtaken MSNBC to be rated No. 2 in for the first time in two years, CNN said Tuesday. MSNBC is now third on the cable-news ratings list.
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