Megyn Kelly Nets First Month Atop Cable News Ratings With Election and Ferguson Coverage

Fox News Midterms 2014 Still - H 2014
Courtesy of Fox News

Fox News Midterms 2014 Still - H 2014

Capping off a big November for cable news, rankings between Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC were unmoved from recent months — though there was one very notable shift.

Just over a year after launching, FNC's The Kelly File, anchored by Megyn Kelly, posted its first month as the highest-rated show on cable news. She beat out long-reigning champ (and lead-in) The O'Reilly Factor by a margin of 5 percent.

Kelly's spent a lot of time in the No. 2 slot since launching The Kelly File last October, often switching places with The Five, but this marks her first full month at No. 1. She averaged 546,000 viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic. The Factor retained an advantage among total viewers, with 3 million to Kelly's 2.7 million. Both stats were series highs for The Kelly File, while O'Reilly hit 2014 highs.

That's not to say there hasn't been some back-and-forth between the two. Kelly first out-rated O'Reilly for a full week in June — and Greta Van Susteren has previously topped Factor. But the midterm election, President Obama's immigration speech and series highs set during last week's coverage of unrest in Ferguson, Mo., pushed Kelly over the top.

Looking at the month as a whole, FNC retained its No. 1 status with slight improvement among total viewers and a notable boost (20 percent) in the key demo. But it was CNN that really shot up, year over year. The Turner network, which topped last week's Ferguson coverage, was up double digits by all measures and improved a whopping 72 percent in the key demo during primetime.

MSNBC saw no lifts from election coverage, hanging in third place and actually down from the prior November — by as much as 14 percent — with adults 25-54.