Without Keith Olbermann, MSNBC Ratings Close to Falling Behind CNN

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The NBCUniversal network could find itself in third place behind leader Fox News and a rising CNN.

NEW YORK – Without Keith Olbermann, MSNBC has just managed to stay ahead of CNN in the cable news network primetime ratings for September for the core news audience of people between the ages of 25 and 54, the New York Times reported.

But it said the NBCUniversal network is on the verge of falling back into third place behind ratings leader Fox News and an improving CNN.

The ratings for the month of September to-date show that CNN averaged 257,000 viewers in primetime in the core news demographic, up from 173,000 in the year-ago period, the paper said. That narrowed the lead of MSNBC over the third-ranked news channel, which averaged 269,000 viewers, compared with 256,000 viewers last year.

However, excluding one particularly strong night of the Republican presidential debates, CNN beat MSNBC, 219,000 to 207,000 in September, according to the Times.

Fox News stayed at the top with 526,000 average viewers in September.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai