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February 2012 Ratings: In Primetime, MSNBC Second In Total Viewers, Third in the Demo

It was a split decision for MSNBC in February, with the channel finishing third behind Fox News and CNN in primetime in the key adults 25-54 demo, but topping CNN in total viewers.

The ratings for February, 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 825K Total Viewers / 236K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 455K Total Viewers / 144K A25-54

In primetime, both hours of “Hardball with Chris Matthews“were up in total viewers compared to last year, and the program placed second behind Fox News in total and demo viewers.

At 6 PM, “PoliticsNation” saw a ratings boost, gaining +26% in total viewers and +30% in the demo compared to last year.

The news was not all positive however. While “The Ed Show” at 8 PM topped CNN’s “AC360″ in both total and demo viewers, it was down from February 2011, when “The Last Word” held the timeslot. Feb. 2011 was the first full month for “The Last Word” at 8 PM following the departure of Keith Olbermann.

At 9 PM Rachel Maddow placed second behind Fox News, and was up in both total and demo viewers compared to last year.

“Morning Joe” continues to perform well for the channel, placing second behind “Fox & Friends” in both total and demo viewers.

In the daytime, “Jansing & Co.” managed to grow double-digits in both total and demo viewers compared to last year, the only 10 AM program to do so. Thomas Roberts, Alex Wagner, Tamron Hall, Martin Bashir and Dylan  Ratigan were also up compared to 2011.

The full release from MSNBC:

MSNBC TOPS CNN IN PRIMETIME FOR FEBRUARY 2012

MSNBC Continues to Beat CNN in the Morning and Evening as “Morning Joe,” “Hardball,” “Politics Nation,” “The Ed Show,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and “The Last Word” All Top CNN

NEW YORK – February 28, 2012 – MSNBC topped CNN in total viewers in primetime during the month of February, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.

In a month when CNN’s ratings were elevated by a Republican Presidential debate and the death of Whitney Houston, MSNBC continued to top CNN in the morning with “Way Too Early” and “Morning Joe” and in primetime with “Hardball,” “PoliticsNation,” “The Ed Show,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and “The Last Word.” MSNBC topped CNN in total viewers (988,000 vs. 804,000) for the month in weekday primetime and Monday – Sunday primetime (825,000 vs. 805,000).

MSNBC was also the only cable news network to grow in daytime, up 11% in A25-54 from Feb. 2011.

Following are MSNBC’s morning and primetime ratings highlights for February:

· At 5:30 a.m. “Way Too Early” was #2 in all key demos, beating CNN in total viewers (210,000 vs. 161,000) and A25-54 (96,000 vs. 72,000). “Way Too Early” is up 20% in A25-54 compared to Feb. 2011.

· “Morning Joe” ranked #2 topping CNN in total viewers for the 11th consecutive month (440,000 vs. 210,000) and the 10th month in a row among A25-54 (159,000 vs. 88,000). “Morning Joe” is up 14% in A25-54 compared to Feb. 2011, while CNN’s is down 33%. CNN’s new morning lineup of “Early Start/Starting Point” had the lowest P2+ time period delivery in more than a decade (since August 2001).

· “Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 5 p.m. ranked #2 in total viewers (788,000 vs. 580,000) and A25-54 (144,000 vs. 134,000) for the fifth consecutive month. “Hardball” is up 15% among total viewers compared to Feb. 2011.

· “PoliticsNation” with Al Sharpton at 6 p.m. ranked #2 and beat CNN among A25-54 (173,000 vs.126,000) and total viewers (780,000 vs. 455,000) for the 4th month in a row. “PoliticsNation” is up 30% in A25-54 and 26% in total viewers compared to Feb. 2011.

· At 7 p.m. “Hardball with Chris Matthews” beat CNN for the 11th consecutive month in total viewers (804,000 vs. 420,000) and among A25-54 (208, 000 vs. 133,000). “Hardball” at 7 p.m. is up 14% in A25-54 and 10% in total viewers compared to Feb. 2011.

· For the month at 8 p.m., “The Ed Show” topped CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” by 24% in A25-54 (228,000 vs. 184,000) and 83% in total viewers (1.021 million vs. 557,000). This marks the 48th consecutive month MSNBC has beaten CNN at 8 p.m in total viewers.

· The Rachel Maddow Show beat CNN’s “Piers Morgan” by 63% in February marking the 25th consecutive monthly win over CNN in total viewers (1.072 million vs. 659,000). Maddow also topped Piers by 37% among A25-54 (290,000 vs. 212,000).

· “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” ranked #2 at 10 p.m. and beat CNN in total viewers (963,000 vs. 702,000) for the 9th consecutive month. “The Last Word” was #1 with the younger demo of A18-34 for the month and grew in both A25-54 (+7%) and total viewers (+17%) compared to Feb. 2011.

· MSNBC is #1 in delivering African American viewers among cable news channels for the 25th consecutive month in M-Su Primetime.

MSNBC was the only cable news network to show year-to-year growth in daytime programming, up 8% in total viewers and up 11% in A25-54 for the month.

MSNBC’s daytime program highlights include:

· At 9 a.m. “The Daily Rundown” with Chuck Todd topped CNN to rank #2 for the fourth consecutive month in total viewers. Among A25-54, the program grew 33% vs. Feb. 2011, the only cable news program to grow in the hour.

· “Jansing & Co.” at 10 a.m. grew 38% in the A25-54 demographic and 10% in total viewers, the only cable news program to grown in the hour.

· At 11 a.m. “MSNBC Live” with Thomas Roberts was up 42% among A25-54 and 8% in total viewers compared to Feb. 2011, the only cable news program to grow in the hour.

· “Now with Alex Wagner” at noon was up 10% among A25-54 compared to Feb. 2011, more growth than all cable news programs in the hour combined. “Now” was up 8% in total viewers, the only cable news program growth in the hour.

· “NewsNation” with Tamron Hall at 2 p.m. grew 8% in total viewers compared to Feb. 2012, posting the only growth by a cable news program in the hour.

· At 3 p.m. “Martin Bashir” was up 25% in total viewers and 15% in A25-54 for the month, posting the only growth by a cable news program in the hour.

· “The Dylan Ratigan Show” at 4 p.m. grew 19% in total viewers compared to Feb. 2011.

MSNBC’s new weekend line-up also showed growth. On Saturdays, the combination of “Up with Chris Hayes” and “Weekends with Alex Witt” ranked #2 from 8-10 a.m, up 40% among A25-54 and 25% in total viewers compared to Feb. 2011. The combo of “Melissa Harris-Perry” and “Weekends with Alex Witt” from 10 a.m.-noon was up 27% in A25-54 and 2% in total viewers compared to Feb. 2011.

On Sundays, “Up with Chris Hayes” from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. grew 23% in A25-54 and 41% in total viewers vs. Feb. 2011. The combination of “Melissa Harris-Perry” and “Weekends with Alex Witt” from 10 a.m.-noon was up 31% in A25-54 and 32% in total viewers compared to Feb. 2011.

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