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January 2012 Ratings: MSNBC Slips to Third in Primetime

The battle for the #2 spot among the cable news networks continues this month between CNN and MSNBC. For the month of January, MSNBC placed third in primetime, behind Fox News and CNN. In Total Day, MSNBC came in #2 in Total Viewers, but placed #3 in the A25-54 demographic.

The ratings for January, 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 804K Total Viewers / 219K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 452K Total Viewers / 133K A25-54

In primetime, both hours of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” stand out compared to last year: at 5pmET, the program is up +15% in Total Viewers and +5% in the demographic, and at 7pmET, the gains are +8% and +2%, respectively. Growth in the rest of the primetime lineup, which has seen several major changes in the past year, was scarce for MSNBC.

Keith Olbermann left MSNBC in January 2010, and in the year since his departure, the 8pmET timeslot — which has been home to programs hosted by Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell — is down -12% in Total Viewers and -29% in the A25-54 demographic. “The Rachel Maddow Show” was also down slightly: -2% in Total Viewers, and -8% in the demographic.

“Morning Joe” continues to be a draw for younger viewers, up +9% in the A25-54 demographic but down -4% in Total Viewers. Chuck Todd‘s “The Daily Rundown” is another bright spot for the network, growing +4% in Total Viewers and +27% in the demographic compared to January 2011.

The full release from MSNBC is after the jump.


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

NEW YORK – January 31, 2012 – MSNBC topped CNN in total viewers in January. This marks the third consecutive month MSNBC has topped CNN in total day (6a-6p, M-Su), according to data from Nielsen Media Research.

In a month when CNN’s ratings were elevated by two debates, MSNBC continued to top CNN with all of its marquee shows: “Way Too Early,” “Morning Joe,” “The Daily Rundown,” “Hardball,” “PoliticsNation,” “The Ed Show,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and “The Last Word” all topped CNN for the month.

Excluding CNN’s two debates, MSNBC topped CNN in both total viewers (801,000 vs. 631,000) and among A25-54 (217,000 vs. 210,000) for the month in primetime (8p-11p, M-Su).

Following are MSNBC ratings highlights for January:

MSNBC beat CNN in total day for the 3rd consecutive month in total viewers (451,000 vs. 445,000).

“Morning Joe” beat CNN for the 10th consecutive month (425,000 vs. 228,000), and for the 10th month in a row among A25-54 (139,000 vs. 87,000). At 5:30 a.m. “Way Too Early” topped CNN in both total viewers (197,000 vs. 146,000) and A25-54 (82,000 vs. 64,000)

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 5 p.m. ranked #2 in P2+ and A25-54 for the fourth consecutive month.

For the month, “PoliticsNation” with Al Sharpton ranked #2 and beat CNN among A25-54 (164,000 vs. 136,000) for the 4th consecutive month and among total viewers (768,000 vs. 472,000) for the 5th month in a row.

At 7 p.m. “Hardball with Chris Matthews” beat CNN for the 10th consecutive month in total viewers (802,000 vs. 450,000) and among A25-54 (192, 000 vs. 138,000).

In January, at 8 p.m. “The Ed Show” topped CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” in total viewers (945,000 vs. 571,000). This marks the 47th consecutive month MSNBC has beaten CNN in the time period.

The Rachel Maddow Show beat CNN’s “Piers Morgan” in January, marking the 10th consecutive monthly win over CNN among A25-54 (234,000 vs. 169,000) and the 24th consecutive month in total viewers (976,000 vs. 578,000).

For the month, “The Last Word” ranked #2 at 10 p.m. and beat CNN in total viewers (818,000 vs. 765,000) for the 8th consecutive month.

MSNBC is #1 in delivering African American viewers among cable news channels for the 24th consecutive month in M-Su Primetime.

MSNBC Daytime programming was up 24% over January 2011 in total viewers and up 9% in A25-54. This represents more growth than all other cable news channels combined. Highlights among the daytime hours include:

At 9 a.m. “The Daily Rundown” with Chuck Todd topped CNN to rank #2 for the third consecutive month in total viewers. Among A25-54, the program grew 27% vs. Jan. ’11 and among total viewers, the program was up 5% vs. Jan. ’11.

“Jansing & Co.” at 10 a.m. grew 19% in the A25-54 demographic and 15% in total viewers, the most growth of any cable news network.

At 11 a.m. “MSNBC Live” with Thomas Roberts was up 24% among A25-54 and 19% in total viewers, the most growth of any cable news network.

“Now with Alex Wagner” at noon was up 19% among A25-54 for the month and 18% in total viewers, the most growth of any cable news network.

“Andrea Mitchell Reports” at 1 p.m. was up 11% in total viewers.

“NewsNation” with Tamron Hall at 2 p.m. grew 28% in total viewers in January, the only cable news network to grow over the previous year.

At 3 p.m. “Martin Bashir” was up 46% in total viewers and 10% in A25-54 for the month, the most growth of any cable news network.

“The Dylan Ratigan Show” at 4 p.m. grew 46% in total viewers in January.

MSNBC also continued to grow on weekend morning, with the combination of “Up w/Chris Hayes” and “Weekends with Alex Witt.” In Jan. 2012 the two shows delivered 353,000 total viewers, up 15% from Jan. 2011.

Weekend Longform ranked #2 in the evenings among total viewers, and was #1 in the A18-34 demographic for the 39th straight month.

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