Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Business | By Jorge Reeves

MSNBC tops Fox, CNN in weekly primetime ratings for first time

MSNBC tops Fox, CNN in weekly primetime ratings for first time

Fox News finished first in total day with total viewers, tallying 1.498M viewers aged 2 years and up.

The week of May 15 kicked off with the bombshell that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats, followed the next day with a report that he urged then-FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

CNN came in second with 1.735 million total viewers and 729,000 in the demographic.

At 8 p.m., Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" lost to both CNN's Anderson Cooper and MSNBC's "All In" with Chris Hayes.

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Others believe the discord and scandal that has rocked Fox News' primetime lineup, especially the loss of Bill O'Reilly, who went down in a sexual harassment scandal, has severely weakened the once dominant channel. Fox News viewers may still be expecting more substance in prime time.

"The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" also led its time period in the 25-54 demo, as did "11th Hour with Brian Williams" and the Maddow replay outside of primetime. With Bill O'Reilly now out of play in the 8 o'clock time slot for more than a month, Cooper placed No. 1 for the hour Monday through Friday. "He helped start Fox News in 1996 and built it into a conservative news beacon and cable ratings powerhouse".

However, the longtime cable news king remained second in total viewership, with an average of 2.41 million viewers over the course of the week, compared with CNN's 1.65 million and MSNBC's leading 2.44 million.For the first time ever, MSNBC has won the week in both total viewers and the key news network demographic of adults 25-54 in primetime.

MSNBC won across the board, with total viewers and in what TV industry people call the "news demographic": viewers between the ages of 25 to 54 years old.

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When it comes to that all-important advertising age group, Fox News fared a little worse.

Fox has also moved "The Five" from 5 to 9 p.m., putting the program and its rotating cast of co-hosts head-to-head with MSNBC's wildly successful "The Rachel Maddow Show", last week's most-watched cable news show with an average audience of 2.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. But on the Fox News side, they made their decisions.

"For first time this century, they aren't in first place", noted MSNBC's Joe Scarborough last week.

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