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CNN’s situation did not improve in November. The third-place cable news network, which hit weekly lows at the tail end of October, is on track to post its lowest-performing month since the record drops of August 2012.
Initial data from Nielsen Media has the network down the most of any cable news network this past month — with all suffering year-to-year drops compared to the surge that accompanied last November’s presidential election and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy battering the East Coast. Primetime, between 8 and 11 p.m., saw CNN down 59 percent in the targeted adults 25-54 demo compared to last year, averaging 153,000 viewers. Total primetime viewership was down 53 percent, also the most of any cable news net, for an average 481,000 viewers.
Mornings saw new lows for CNN’s New Day. The embattled a.m. flagship saw its worst month since launching in June. It averaged 83,000 adults 25-54 and 253,000 total viewers, respective drops of 46 and 29 percent compared to Early Start in the same time period last year.
The lower daytime ratings helped return MSNBC to second-place status in total day, for both viewers and the key demo, behind Fox News Channel. The perennial runner-up ranked second to FNC in key measures in both primetime and total day. MSNBC also widened its margin of victory over CNN in primetime, besting it in the demo by 37,000 and by 164,000 in total viewers.
For dominant FNC, the year-to-year losses were the smallest of the big three. Down 41 percent in the demo and just 21 percent in total viewers, the network’s primetime averages were 338,000 and 2.011 million, respectively, for its biggest month of the year.
The viewership haul is enough to put FNC as the No. 2 network across all of cable in primetime, second to ESPN. Barring April’s lifts due to coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, the news network last held that rank the previous November.
Read a full breakdown of the rankings and year-to-year comparisons below:
FNC: 1,201,000 total viewers, down 18 percent (248,000 adults 25-54, down 30 percent)
CNN: 335,000 total viewers, down 48 percent (100,000 adults 25-54, down 59 percent)
MSNBC: 401,000 total viewers, down 45 percent (124,000 adults 25-54. down 52 percent)
HLN: 213,000 total viewers, down 7 percent (81,000 adults 25-54, down 14 percent)
Primetime (8-11 p.m.)
FNC: 2,011,000 total viewers, down 21 percent (338,000 adults 25-54, down 41 percent)
CNN: 481,000 total viewers, down 54 percent (153,000 adults 25-54, down 62 percent)
MSNBC: 645,000 total viewers, down 50 percent (190,000 adults 25-54, down 57 percent)
HLN: 278,000 total viewers, down 2 percent (90,000 adults 25-54, down 17 percent)
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