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Despite scoring the highest-rated presidential primary debate in cable news history this month, CNN’s overall ratings fell in November, while Fox News Channel and MSNBC showed increases in primetime.
CNN showed some improvement so far in this month’s move of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” to 7 p.m., but it has seen a sharp decline with its “American Morning.” Meanwhile, MSNBC beat CNN in November for second place in what the business calls “sales prime,” between 7 p.m.-2 a.m. ET — primetime on both coasts.
To be fair, November 2006 was a good month for CNN because of its election coverage. The numbers also differ depending on the type of analysis used and whether it’s on live or Live+SD (same day) metrics. CNN also had the highest-rated primary debate in cable news history that month, with 4 million viewers for the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas.
Fox not only led the pack among the news channels this month but also rated sixth among all cable networks in primetime, according to Nielsen Media Research. Compared to November 2006, Fox was up 4%; CNN was in second place, down 8%; and MSNBC was up 12%.
MSNBC was the only network to show increases in primetime among adults 25-54, up 7%, while both CNN and Fox were down 15%.
CNN’s “American Morning” switched anchors this year, with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry replacing Soledad O’Brien and Miles O’Brien. “Fox & Friends” is up in viewers but down slightly in the demo, while “Morning” is down 18% in viewers and down 36% in adults 25-54. MSNBC also fell sharply in the morning, down 34% in viewership in the time period with “Morning Joe” compared with “Imus in the Morning” last year.
“Lou Dobbs” is up in viewership but down in the demo compared with November 2006, when the third hour of “The Situation Room” was in at 7 p.m. “The Fox Report With Shepard Smith,” by contrast, is up in viewership and flat in the demo. “Situation Room” showed double-digit declines in its new 6-7 p.m. time period.
“The O’Reilly Factor” was up in viewership and the adults 25-54 demo compared with last year. CNN Headline News showed increases in viewership in several shows, including “Nancy Grace,” “Prime News With Erica Hill” and “Morning Express With Robin Meade.” Headline News’ “Glenn Beck” showed its best viewership and demo ratings for a full month.
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