Fox News has been the No. 1 cable news channel for 13 years, beating its cable competitors combined on many nights. But increasingly, the 21st Century Fox network is taking on its broadcast competition in both the morning and evening.
Fox & Friends, which airs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. EDT, and Special Report with Bret Baier, which airs at 6 p.m. EDT, are beating their broadcast morning and evening competitors in several top 20 markets across the country.
Fox & Friends is outpacing either CBS This Morning or ABC's Good Morning America in at least nine markets. In Atlanta, Fox & Friends has been beating CBS This Morning (and its predecessors) in households for 12 years. And Fox's show has been beating CBS's in Detroit for 11 years.
In Jacksonville, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., Fox & Friends ties NBC's Today show among adults ages 25 to 54.
In the evenings, Special Report with Bret Baier is besting either the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley or ABC's World News Tonight with David Muir in at least eight markets.
"From the personality-driven programs like Fox & Friends, to our in-depth political news coverage on Special Report With Bret Baier, we are pleased to be making serious inroads in major markets with both the broadcast morning shows and evening newscasts," said Fox News CEO and chairman Roger Ailes.
While the Fox formula—consistent programming and a populist tone—has kept viewers coming back, Fox also has the benefit of going up against underperforming broadcast affiliates in many markets. CBS has long been a fourth-place finisher in Atlanta, while CBS's Detroit station, WWJ Channel 62, doesn't produce local news. Much of this is the result of an affiliation switch going back to 1994, when many long-term CBS affiliates became Fox stations in markets like Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland and Tampa.
Here's a list of how Fox shows stack up, in certain local markets, based on Nielsen ratings data:
March 2015 Fox & Friends vs. Broadcast Morning News
- Atlanta (Market #9) – beat CBS This Morning in households
- Detroit (#12) – beat CBS This Morning in households, viewers and tied in adults ages 25-54
- Tampa (#13) – beat CBS This Morning in households and viewers
- Cleveland (#19) – beat CBS This Morning in households, P2+ and adults 25-54
- Charlotte (#24) – tied Today show in adults 25-54
- Birmingham (#43) – beat CBS This Morning in households
- Ft. Myers (#62) – beat Good Morning America in households
March 2015 Special Report vs. Broadcast Evening News
- Washington DC (Market #8) – beat CBS Evening News in households and viewers
- Detroit (#12) – beat CBS Evening News in adults 25-54
- Tampa (#13) – beat ABC World News in households and viewers
- St. Louis (#21) – beat ABC World News in households and viewers
- Baltimore (#26) – beat ABC World News in households and viewers
- Austin (#39) – beat CBS Evening News in households
- Ft. Myers (#62) – beat ABC World News in households
Fox News is in 95 million homes in the U.S., while more than 116 million homes make up Nielsen's National Television Household Universe with access to free over-the-air broadcast networks.