January 2017 Ratings: CNN Ranks No. 2 Across Cable News

By A.J. Katz Comment

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CNN delivered double digit year-over-year audience increases across the board, and ranked No. 2 across cable news in Total Day and prime time behind Fox News. The month was highlighted by network record audiences for its coverage of the inauguration. Donald Trump’s swearing-in was the second most-watched inauguration for CNN in the demo.

CNN ranked No. 11 across all of cable in total prime time viewers for January. The network was up +38 percent year-over-year growth in total viewers and was up +42 percent year-over year in the A25-54 demo. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon showed the most year-over-year growth of CNN’s prime time programs, both in total viewers (+78 percent) and in A25-54 (+85 percent).

The ratings for January, 2017 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Prime time (Mon-Sun): 1,164,000 total viewers / 385,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 794,000 total viewers / 246,000 A25-54

CNN beat MSNBC during weekday evening and prime time hours at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the key 25-54 demo. CNN’s various programming at the 9 p.m. hour, which includes myriad town halls and other types of specials, was up +76 percent in total viewers and +80 percent in the demo 25-54 from last year.

CNN ranked No. 10 across cable in Total Day this past month, showing +37 percent improvement in total viewers and +46 percent improvement in the news demo during the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. daypart. The network was aided by New Day’s strong performance in the key demo, beating MSNBC’s Morning Joe (154,000 vs. 144,000).

The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer defeated MSNBC’s new 6 p.m. weekday program For the Record with Greta Van Susteren this past month, both in total viewers and in the news demo.

State of the Union with Jake Tapper ranked No. 2 on Sundays at 9 a.m., +33 percent in total viewers and +72 percent among adults 25-54 from January 2016. The 3 p.m. Saturday edition of CNN Newsroom and the 6 p.m. Saturday edition of Smerconish each beat Fox News and MSNBC in their respective timeslots among adults 25-54. The network also ranked No. 1 in the demo on Sundays at 5 and 6 p.m. (CNN Newsroom) and at 8 and 9 p.m. (CNN Original Series/Films/CNN Newsroom).

Here is CNN’s full release:

CNN STRONG #2 IN JANUARY, UP DOUBLE DIGITS ACROSS THE BOARD

Dominates MSNBC for 31st Straight Month

New Day Tops Morning Joe in Demo 25-54 for 2nd Time in 3 Months

CNN Tonight with Don Lemon Grows the Most in Cable News in Weekday Prime Time

January was an incredibly strong month for CNN. The network kicked off the year ranking #2 in cable news in Total Day in both total viewers and adults 25-54 and #2 in prime time among adults 25-54. The network also grew strong double digits vs. last year across all dayparts. CNN has now topped MSNBC for the 31st straight month in Total Day (total viewers and the demo 25-54), and in prime time (25-54) – the longest winning streak in nearly nine years (since Feb. 2008). CNN also outperformed MSNBC by +36% in total viewers and +87% in the demo 25-54 throughout dayside programming (9am-4pm).

In January, New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota was back on top, beating MSNBC’s Morning Joe in the key demo 25-54 (154k vs. 144k). New Day has now topped MSNBC for two of the last three months (November 2016 and January 2017). CNN Tonight with Don Lemon was up the most vs. last year in weekday prime time cable news (8-11pm) among both total viewers (+78%) and adults 25-54 (+85%), with the network now beating MSNBC at 10pm for 30 of the past 31 months in the important key demo 25-54.

CNN ranked #10 in ALL of cable in Total Day and #11 in M-Su prime among total viewers in January.

Of particular note this month:

• CNN registered record audiences for its Inauguration Day coverage, making this year’s the second most-watched on record for CNN among adults 25-54 in Total Day and prime time. (Live+SD).
• CNN Films: Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago premiere ranked #1 across cable in its time period in both total viewers and 25-54.
• Among all CNN Films and CNN Films Presents premieres-to-date The End: Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House ranked fifth in 25-54.
• Ranked #1 among adults 25-54 on Saturday 3pm (CNN Newsroom) and 6pm (Smerconish).
• Ranked #1 among adults 25-54 on Sunday 5pm and 6pm (CNN Newsroom) and 8pm and 9pm (Original Series/Films/CNN Newsroom).

CNN January 2017 Program Highlights:

Morning/Dayside
• New Day (6-9am) ranked #2 in cable news in the demo 25-54, topping MSNBC’s Morning Joe (154k vs. 144k) for two of the last three months. New Day had double-digit growth, increasing +23% in total viewers and +34% among adults 25-54 vs. a year ago.
• CNN dayside (9a-4p) programs all ranked #2 in January with CNN posting a +36% advantage over MSNBC in total viewers (861k vs. 633k) and a +87% lead in the demo (234k vs. 125k). MSNBC ranked #3. CNN dayside programming also grew significantly from last year, up +35% in total viewers and +50% in the demo 25-54.

Late Afternoons
• The Lead with Jake Tapper (4pm) ranked #2 in cable news, easily topping MSNBC in both total viewers (1.010m vs. MSNBC’s 651k) and the demo (253k vs. 128k). The Lead grew +42% in total viewers and +50% in the demo from a year ago. MSNBC ranked #3.
• The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (5-7pm) ranked #2 in cable news besting MSNBC in both total viewers (981k vs. MSNBC’s 757k) and in the demo 25-54 (273k vs. 154k). The Situation Room increased +38% in total viewers and was up +43% in the demo compared to January 2016. During the 6pm hour, The Situation Room easily topped For the Record with Greta Van Susteren in both total viewers (930k vs. MSNBC’s 742k) and the demo 25-54 (279k vs. MSNBC’s 163k).

Evening/Prime time
• CNN beat MSNBC during the M-F evening/primetime hours at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm in the key demo 25-54.
• Erin Burnett Outfront (7pm) ranked #2 in the demo (315k), topping MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews (237k) by +33%. The Burnett-led program has now topped Matthews for the 31st straight month, the longest streak on record for the 7pm hour. EBOF was also up +34% vs. a year ago in total viewers and +44% in the demo 25-54.
• Anderson Cooper 360 (8pm) ranked #2 in the demo (407k) easily topping MSNBC’s Chris Hayes (277k). AC 360 grew +33% in total viewers and +42% in the demo compared to last year. CNN has now topped MSNBC in the demo for the 31st consecutive month at 8pm, the longest streak since January 2006.
• CNN programming (9pm) beat MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show in the demo 25-54 (450k vs. MSNBC’s 429k). This is the network’s 3rd highest monthly 9pm performance since July 2009 in the demo. CNN’s various programming at this hour was up +76% in total viewers and +80% in the demo 25-54 from last year.
• CNN Tonight with Don Lemon (10pm) ranked #2 in the demo (393k), topping MSNBC (300k). CNN has now beaten MSNBC at 10pm for 30 of the past 31 months in the important key demo 25-54. In total viewers, the program averaged 1.163mm, the network’s 4th highest monthly performance since July 2009. The Lemon-led program was up the most in weekday prime time cable news (8-11pm) increasing +78% in total viewers and +85% among 25-54 vs. last year.

Weekends
• On weekends (S/S) CNN ranked #2 in Total Day in both total viewers (832k) and among adults 25-54 (270k). The network is also up vs. a year ago, increasing +46% and +65% respectively. MSNBC was third.
• In prime time, CNN also ranks second in both total viewers (990k, +49%) and adults 25-54 (333k, +53%). MSNBC ranked 3rd.

Saturdays
• New Day Saturday (6-9a) ranked #2 in cable news each hour in total viewers and grew each hour compared to last year. MSNBC was 4th.
• Smerconish (9am) ranked #2 in total viewers (850k vs. MSNBC’s 554k) and among 25-54 (263k vs. MSNBC’s 133k). The program was up +23% in total viewers and +68% in 25-54 vs. last year. At 6pm, Smerconish was #1 among adults 25-54 (352k, +175% from last year).
• CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield (11am-3:00pm) ranked #2 each hour in both total viewers and adults 25-54. MSNBC was 3rd.
• CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow ranked #1 at 3:00pm in the key demo 25-54 (321k), increasing +67% from a year ago. The program was also up +48% in total viewers vs. last year.

Sundays
• Inside Politics with John King (8:00am) ranked #2 in both total viewers (768k) and the demo (248k). MSNBC ranked 3rd/4th respectively. The King-led program grew +31% in total viewers and +63% in the demo from last year.
• State of the Union with Jake Tapper ranked #2 on Sundays at 9am averaging 896k in total viewers (up +33%) and 298k among adults 25-54 (up +72%). MSNBC ranked third. At noon, SOTU also ranked #2 in both demos and was up +35%/+75% respectively.
• Fareed Zakaria GPS (10am) ranked #2 in total viewers (1.090m, up +39%) and in the demo 25-54 (303k, up +59%). At 1pm, GPS also ranked #2 in both demos, increasing +47% in total viewers and an impressive +79% among 25-54.
• Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter (11am) ranked #2 in cable news in total viewers (1.001m, up +33%) and in the key demo 25-54 (317k, up +66%) this month.
• CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow ranked #1 at 5pm among adults 25-54 (244k) and #2 in total viewers (847k). The program was also up 62% in total viewers and +112% in among adults 25-54.

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