It’s certainly been a topsy-turvy year for MSNBC, but the cable network is out with a release declaring that “It’s working.”

From the release:

    MSNBC had its best year ever in 2008 and was the fastest growing television network in all of television, according to Nielsen Media Research data through 12/15/08. “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” finished 2008 with a huge advantage over CNN at 8 p.m., and was up 85 percent over last year. “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which launched Sept. 8, finishes the year as one of the biggest hits in cable, beating CNN’s “Larry King Live” among A25-54 at 9 p.m. Following are MSNBC ratings highlights for 2008:

  • MSNBC is the fastest growing network on television in 2008 among total viewers in total day (up 52 percent), M-Su primetime (up 84 percent) and M-F primetime (up 100 percent).

  • MSNBC finished 2008 with its best delivery ever in total day among total viewers (470,000) and A25-54 (189,000) and also in weekday primetime (1,095,000 total viewers; 418,000 A25-54).

  • “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” maintained its ratings dominance over CNN in 2008, finishing the year with a huge 39 percent advantage among A25-54 (471,000 vs. 340,000) and a 32 percent lead in total viewers (1,317,000 vs. 995,000). “Countdown” also had its best year ever in 2008, and was up a tremendous 85 percent over 2007 in A25-54 and 80 percent in total viewers.

  • “The Rachel Maddow Show” proved to be the smash hit of 2008, finishing the year by beating CNN’s “Larry King Live” at 9 p.m. among A25-54 premiere to date (9/8/08-12/15/08, 620,000 vs. 581,000). “Rachel Maddow” wrapped up 2008 trailing the long-running “Larry King” by only 33,000 total viewers (1,720,000 vs. 1,753,000).

  • “Hardball with Chris Matthews” also saw its best numbers ever at both 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. in 2008. At 7 p.m., “Hardball” was up a huge 88 percent over 2007 in A25-54 (271,000 vs. 144,000) and up 89 percent in total viewers (804,000 vs. 425,000).

  • “Morning Joe” hit its stride in 2008, delivering the best numbers ever for the 6-9 a.m. morning slot on MSNBC in total viewers (385,000) and up 27 percent from 2007. Among A25-54, “Morning Joe” was up 25 percent from 2007 and delivered MSNBC’s best numbers since 2000 (137,000).

  • MSNBC’s 6 p.m. “Race for the White House/1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” saw tremendous gains from 2007, up 122 percent in A25-54 (199,000 vs. 90,000) and up 153 percent in total viewers (638,000 vs. 252,000), and delivered MSNBC’s best numbers ever at 6 p.m.

  • MSNBC’s weekend primetime, featuring the “Doc Block,” averaged 237,000 A25-54, up 37 percent from 2007 and 497,000 total viewers, up 26 percent from last year.

  • MSNBC Daytime (M-F 9a-5p) is averaging 140,000 A25-54, up 56 percent over 2007 and its strongest delivery for the daypart since 2001. MSNBC is averaging 387,000 total viewers in the time period, up 56 percent over 2007 and the best delivery for the daypart ever.