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Fox News Channel crushed cable news competition last week while CNN hit all-time lows in several categories, including its lowest total daily viewership in seven years.
Fox News averaged 1.5 million daily viewers from February 7 to 13, finishing as the only basic cable network to surpass the benchmark of one million viewers. USA, MSNBC, HGTV and Hallmark rounded out the top five while CNN averaged just 444,000 viewers to settle for eighth place. This is CNN’s worst performance in the category since November 2015.
CNN’s struggles were even more alarming during prime time from 8-11 p.m. ET, where Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon have struggled to attract viewers since the network terminated Chris Cuomo last year. .
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CNN averaged 491,000 prime-time viewers, compared to Fox News’ 2.4 million, outscoring the Liberal network by 385%. It was Fox News’ biggest advantage over CNN since August 2015, when then-candidate Donald Trump took the stage for his first GOP primary debate.
Fox News finished No. 1 among all basic primetime cable offerings. USA, MSNBC, INSP and Hallmark rounded out the top five while HGTV, History, ESPN, Discovery, TNT, TBS, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, TV Land, A&E and SyFy all finished with larger audiences than CNN.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.5 million viewers to finish as the most-watched cable news program of the week. “The Five” averaged just below “Tucker” to finish second, followed by “Jesse Watters Primetime,” “Hannity” and “Special Report with Bret Baier” as Fox News had 81 of the top 100 TV shows by cable for the week.
A plethora of obscure programming overtook CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” which was the most-watched show on the struggling network with an average viewership of just 663,000. “Proof is Out There” from History, “I am Shauna Rae” from TLC, “Restaurant Impossible” from Food Network, “Chaos in Court” from Investigation Discovery, “Ancient Aliens” from History and “The Real Housewives of Orange County ” from Bravo are among the shows that ended with a wider audience than CNN’s most popular show.
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“Tucker Carlson Tonight” also finished atop the coveted adults 25-54 demographic, averaging 553,000 viewers in the critical category. Every single Fox News program that aired weekdays from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. outpaced competition from MSNBC and CNN slots in the demo.
“FOX & Friends” averaged 1.4 million viewers, compared to just 363,000 for CNN’s “New Day” and 763,000 for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” topping the other two morning shows combined. It was the 47th straight week that “FOX & Friends” was the most-watched morning show on cable news.
Over the weekend, “Unfiltered with Dan Bongino” averaged 1.6 million viewers and 188,000 in the demo to finish No. 1 on Saturday, while “Sunday Morning Futures” averaged 2 million viewers and 254,000 among the demo for new Sunday cable deals.
CNN’s weekend lineup drew just 57,000 demo viewers for its smallest audience in the advertiser-coveted category in 25 years.
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MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” lost viewers during the first week of a temporary hiatus from the namesake host that left the network with a huge hole in a key hour of programming. Instead of alternative programming, MSNBC continued to mark its 9 p.m. hour as “The Rachel Maddow Show”, but with a series of rotating hosts.
Ali Velshi replaced Maddow in the first week of his absence, but failed to attract the audience that MSNBC’s biggest star usually attracts, averaging 1.5 million for a 26% drop from compared to last week.