Tags: cable | ratings | fox | msnbc

So What's News? Fox Still Leads in Cable Ratings

Sunday, 06 Oct 2013 08:03 AM

By Elliot Jager

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More Americans who watch cable still prefer their news "Fair & Balanced" Fox-style than "Lean Forward" with MSNBC.

The latest third quarter 2013 cable news ratings reveal Fox News is still No. 1 both in primetime and in total number of daily viewers, according to The Wrap.

Fox News averaged 1.024 total viewers and 1.609 million in primetime. The network also captured the key 25-54 year-old demographic group – 279,000 in primetime – while MSNBC and CNN fought it out for second place – depending on the category.

MSNBC drew 374,000 average total viewers and finished No. 2 in primetime with 568,000 and 190,000 in the 25-54 demographic for primetime.

The CNN tally is 422,000 average total viewers, with 542,000 in prime time and 179,000 viewers ages 25-54 in prime time.

All the networks lost viewers compared to the election-centered third quarter of 2012.

The war for ratings will only get tougher. Young people today, so-called Millennials between the ages of 18 and 31, are lighter news consumers than post-World War Baby Boomers.

"Today's younger and middle-aged audience seems unlikely to ever match the avid news interest of the generations they will replace, even as they enthusiastically transition to the Internet as their principal source of news,"Pew Research has found.

Appearing Wednesday on CNN's Piers Morgan program, former president Bill Clinton admitted, "I used to worry CNN was going to lose too many viewers. … You're doing better, but you're more entertaining now, which is good. But you became more entertaining without becoming more extreme which is important." Morgan drew a relatively modest 281,000 total viewers in the previous week.

Americans, Clinton said, are "prone only to go to the places we agree with" for their news, The Daily Beacon reported. He also acknowledged that Fox News "had this big base."

Fox has developed a stable of right-leaning star personalities which has kept it in the top position.

Bill O’Reilly continues to be the station's top drawer in his 8 p.m. slot with more than 2.5 million viewers, Mediaite reported.

The Rachel Maddow Show in MSNBC's 9 p.m. slot is that station's biggest audience draw with over 700,000 viewers. Anderson Cooper is the star performer at CNN with his nightly broadcasts drawing in excess of 700,000, Mediate reported.

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