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October 2011 Ratings: Fox News Remains Ratings Stalwart, But Nearly All Programs Down Compared to 2010

As usual, Fox News Channel was the top cable news outlet for the month of October. While it still has a dominant ratings lead, it was the only cable news channel to lose both total and demo viewers in every  timeslot (except one) compared to October of 2010.

The ratings for October, 2011:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 1.869M Total Viewers / 367K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 1.057M Total Viewers / 253K A25-54

FNC was down -14% in total viewers and -28% in the adults 25-54 demo in primetime compared to October 2010. In total day, FNC was down -10% in total viewers and -15% in the demo. Despite the drops, it was by far the ratings leader in just about every category, and had the top 10 cable news programs in both total and demo viewers.

Every FNC show was down in both total viewers and the demo compared to last year, save for “Red Eye,” which saw its best ratings month ever despite (or because of?) airing at 3 AM, and as notes the program drew higher ratings than many primetime shows on other networks.

“The Five,” which replaced “Glenn Beck” and recently received a permanent place in the channel’s lineup, had the biggest drop of any FNC program, down -31% in total viewers and -41% in the demo compared to last year, when Beck held that timeslot.

In primetime, “The O’Reilly Factor” was down -11% in total viewers and -28% in the demo at 8 PM. “Hannity” was down -15% in total viewers and -24% in the demo at 9 PM and “On the Record” was down -15% in total viewers and -25% in the demo at 10 PM.

To be clear, all of FNC’s shows dominate their timeslots, but the steep declines cannot be attributed solely to a slow news month. While MSNBC was also down in primetime, CNN saw not-inconsequential gains during those hours.


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