April 2011 Ratings: MSNBC up Double Digits

By Chris Ariens 

MSNBC continues as the #2 cable news channel in primetime (8-11pm Mon-Sun), with slight year-over-year growth: +1% in Total Viewers and +9% in A25-54 viewers. The network is up double digits in total day viewing (Mon-Sun): +10% in total viewers and +14% in younger viewers.

The ratings for April, 2011:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 841K Total Viewers / 263K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 454K Total Viewers / 152K A25-54

“Morning Joe” remains in second place in the mornings, ahead of CNN’s “American Morning” in total viewers, but comes in at #3 behind HLN’s “Morning Express” in younger viewers. “Fox & Friends” remains the most-watched cable morning show.


In primetime, MSNBC topped CNN by +48% in Total Viewers and +36% in A25-54 viewers. “The Rachel Maddow Show” has now beaten CNN’s 9pm show 15 consecutive months. Maddow is down -3% in total viewers and up +13% in younger viewers.

“The Ed Show” at 10pm is up +25% over a “Countdown” reair which ran at 8pm last April. In April, “Ed” topped CNN’s Anderson Cooper in both total viewers and A25-54 viewers.

“The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” is a soft spot in primetime, down -12% in total viewers and down -5% in demo viewers compared to “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” which ran at 8pmET last April.

MSNBC’s release after the jump…


MSNBC Beats CNN 6-9 a.m. and Every Hour from 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” Has Worst Month Since Launch

NEW YORK –April 26, 2011 – MSNBC once again beat CNN in the morning and evening among total viewers and A25-54, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. While MSNBC continued its long run of ratings success, CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” had its worst month since launch in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. In primetime, MSNBC topped CNN by a stunning 48 % in total viewers and 36% in A25-54. For the month, MSNBC beat CNN from 6-9 a.m. ET and every hour from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET.

Following are MSNBC ratings highlights for April:

“Morning Joe” is the No. 2 cable morning news program (455,000 vs. CNN’s 308,000 total viewers), up 16% from April 2010. “Morning Joe” also beat CNN’s “American Morning” among A25-54 (136,000 vs. 131,000) and was up +18% in the demo from April 2010.

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” at 7 p.m. also beat CNN’s “John King USA” in total viewers (645,000 vs. 523,000) and among A25-54 (186,000 vs. 172,000).
At 8 p.m., MSNBC topped CNN for the 38th consecutive month. “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” topped CNN’s “In the Arena” in total viewers (958,000 vs. 515,000) and A25-54 (258,000 vs. 157,000) for the month.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” marked the 15th consecutive monthly win over CNN. In total viewers, Maddow beat CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” by a huge 66% (1.039 million vs. 625,000). Among viewers 25-54, Maddow’s advantage over CNN was 65% (310,000 vs. 188,000). April was Piers’ worst month since launch in both total viewers and A25-54.

“The Ed Show” beat CNN’s Anderson Cooper at 10 p.m. in both total viewers (868,000 vs. 706,000) and A25-54 (257,000 vs. 243,000). “Ed” is up 25% over April 2010 in total viewers and 18% in A25-54.

In the early evening, MSNBC also topped CNN: At 5 p.m., “Hardball with Chris Matthews” beat CNN’s “The Situation Room” among total viewers (683,000 vs. 630,000).

At 6 p.m., “MSNBC Live” hosted by Cenk Uygur topped CNN’s “Situation Room” among total viewers (588,000 vs. 570,000).

MSNBC is #1 among African American and Hispanic viewers among cable news channels in M-Su Primetime. April marks the 15th consecutive month MSNBC has been the #1 network among African Americans in primetime.

In weekend sales prime (7p-2a), MSNBC’s longform programming ranked No. 1 and beat CNN and Fox New Channel among A25-54.