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December Cable News Ratings: FNC Far Out Front; HLN Growing; MSNBC 2nd in Primetime, 5th in Daytime; CNN 4th in Prime, 2nd Overall

Here is the cable news ratings breakdown for the month of December 2009, which ended Sunday, Dec. 27:

Fox News finished out 2009 on top in every category. “Glenn Beck” was the program with the biggest year-to-year gain, up 79% in Total Viewers (138% in the A25-54 demo) compared to “America’s News HQ” which occupied the time slot in Dec. ’08. In total day and primetime, Fox was the only network to show year-to-year growth compared to last December. The three other networks were down roughly 40% in the primetime demo.
Only two non-FNC programs were up compared to the same time slots last December, and they are both on HLN: “Morning Express with Robin Meade” and “Joy Behar.” The network was number two in the ad-friendly A25-54 demo for total day.
In December, MSNBC was again number two in the primetime demo and tied for second with CNN in Total Viewers. Hardball (7pm) and Countdown (8pm) were both number two in their time slots in both categories. “Rachel Maddow” was second in the demo and third, behind “Larry King Live” in Total Viewers. MSNBC’s dayside was in fifth place in the demo (behind CNBC) every hour between 9am-4pm.
CNN made it 3 months in 4th place for the primetime demo, but was second in Total Viewers. “CNN Tonight,” the temporary replacement for Lou Dobbs until John King‘s program debuts next year, averaged 535k Total Viewers (131k demo). Rick Sanchez, whose show will be expanding soon, averaged 601k total viewers (124k demo) between 3-4pm.
The averages for the month, after the jump:

Total Viewers
Total Day (Mon-Su)
1.116M 469k 307k 343k
A25-54 Demo
Total Day (Mon-Su)
299k 128k 130k 117k
Total Viewers
Prime (Mon-Fri)
2.342M 751k 625k 751k
A25-54 Demo
Prime (Mon-Fri)
612k 194k 206k 213k

As for all of 2009, Fox had a record year (HuffPost has specifics). Here is our earlier reporting on this years numbers:

2009 Is Fox News’ Best Ratings Year Ever
MSNBC Touts Yearly Demo Win Over CNN
CNN, Preparing for Poor Ratings Month, Gets 2009 Report Out Early

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