One week after slipping significantly in the cable-news ratings, the Fox News Channel is back on top, trouncing its biggest competitors throughout the week.
Spurred by the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, cable-news channels MSNBC and CNN performed significantly better than usual, with MSNBC beating out Fox News in the key 25-54 demographic in key timeslots.
According to ratings provided by TV Newser, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow destroyed her competition on June 7-8, earning 745,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic and 979,000 viewers, respectively. Her biggest competition at the 9 p.m. hour came from “The Five” on Fox News, which finished with a two-night average of 592,000 in the key demographic.
Although ratings for all three major cable-news networks have improved over where they were at this time in 2016, Maddow and MSNBC have been the biggest beneficiaries of the numerous stories plaguing President Donald Trump’s administration, which they have capitalized on in part by consistently running a variety of news stories about the possibility Trump or members of his campaign colluded with Russian officials to secure the 2016 election.
A clear trend has emerged, however, over the past several weeks: When particularly damaging news about Trump is in the headlines, the left-leaning MSNBC and CNN see huge boosts to their ratings, but when news that’s unfavorable to liberal audiences steals the spotlight, Fox News dominates in the key demographic. In terms of total viewership, Fox News has remained consistently on top of the competition, regardless of what’s happening in the news, suggesting among older television viewers, Fox News continues to outpace its competition by a wide margin.
From Monday through Thursday, the latest day ratings provided by TV Newser are available, Fox News beat its competition in most timeslots, including in the key demo, with the only exception being Tuesday, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on issues pertaining to the investigation of the alleged connection between Trump and Russia. Even then, Fox News won handedly in total viewers, earning 3.3 million viewers during Sessions’ hearing in the 4 p.m. timeslot, 1.1 million more than the next closest competitor, CNN.
During primetime on Tuesday, Maddow won the key demo, earning 743,000 viewers, and total viewers (just over 3 million), but Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” won the 8 p.m. hour and the 11 p.m. hour, when Carlson’s show is aired a second time, and Sean Hannity won the 10 p.m. hour, earning 678,000 key demo viewers.
By Wednesday, Fox News was back on top in every primetime timeslot, with Hannity earning the biggest key-demo audience and total audience. Further, Carlson, “The Five” and Hannity all managed to beat Maddow, who has been running hot for two months.