May 2012 Ratings: Despite Declines, Fox News Still Far Out Front

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By Merrill Knox

As usual, Fox News comes in first among the cable news channels in May, but even the perennial ratings leader was not immune to a decline this month. Compared to May 2011, FNC is down -6% in Total Viewers and -12% in the A25-54 demographic in Total Day. In primetime, the network is down -9% in Total Viewers and -23% in A25-54 viewers.

The ratings for May, 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 1.692M Total Viewers / 326,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 1.011M Total Viewers / 248,000 A25-54

Like last month, the daytime programming on Fox News performed particularly well among younger viewers in May. “America Live with Megyn Kelly” was up +11% compared to last year, and “Studio B with Shepard Smith” was up +8%. The second hour of “Happening Now,” co-anchored by Jon Scott and Jenna Lee, also gained younger viewers, up +16% compared to last year.

Fox News was down significantly in primetime in May, posting its lowest weekday ratings since July 2008. “Hannity” is down -8% in Total Viewers and -20% in the demographic compared to last year, while “On The Record with Greta Van Susteren” is down -13% and -20%, respectively. “Fox Report” is down -13% in Total Viewers and -19% in the demographic.

“Fox & Friends First,” which debuted in March, was up +31% in Total Viewers and +29% in A25-54 viewers compared to last year, when a repeat of “The O’Reilly Factor” ran at 5amET. This gives the network its highest rating during that timeslot since the coverage of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005.