CNN Is Thriving in the News Demo This Month

By A.J. Katz 

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Don’t look now, but CNN is in the midst of a very solid October, particularly in the demo widely thought of as the holy grail for TV news advertisers: Adults 25-54.

CNN has defeated both Fox News and MSNBC in the demo on nine of the past 12 days in total day (October 6 – October 17, 2016). The last time CNN accomplished that feat was in March 2011, per Nielsen. The network has also been on a hot streak in the demo during prime time. Despite being edged by Fox News this past Sunday and Monday, CNN has defeated its two rivals on eight of the past 12 nights, led by its record-setting performance in A25-54 on Sunday, Oct. 9, when the trio of cable news networks all televised the second general election debate of 2016. CNN came out on top that night. The last time CNN beat Fox News in the demo eight times during an 11 night span was December 2015.

Below is a look at how CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have performed over the last 12 days. This includes daily performance in the demo, network average in the demo across the 12 day span, and network average for the week of October 10, both in total day and in prime time.

Cable News Network Performance: October 6 – October 17, 2016

A 25-54 (000)
Total Day (3a-3a)  Prime (8p-11p)
 Day  Date  CNN  FNC    MSNBC CNN  FNC  MSNBC
 Thurs 10/6 293 295 188 512 468 305
 Fri 10/7 422 313 221 700 493 431
 Sat 10/8 414  248 217  511  255 177
Sun 10/9 902 575 451  3,706 2,201 1,417
Mon 10/10  413 362 283 595 559 502
Tues 10/11  342 302 243 569 620 484
Weds 10/12 306 348 285 522 633 619
Thurs 10/13 337 312 275 554 525 510
Fri 10/14 322 302 242 459 434 421
Sat 10/15 288 234 133 332 240 86
Sun 10/16 250 224 123 317 321 131
 Mon  10/17 302 308 218 532  563  448
Time Interval Average 10/6 – 10/17 383 319 240 776 609 461
Weekly Average 10/10 – 10/16 323 300 228 478 476 393

Not only did CNN hold a sizable lead over its rivals in the demo from Oct. 6 to Oct. 17, but it also managed to win the week of Oct. 10 by 2,000 A25-54 viewers.

Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter has also put up strong numbers in the demo as of late. The Sunday morning show beat Fox News’ Media Buzz with Howie Kurtz in the demo by +45 percent on Oct. 16 (423,000 to 291,000). It’s the show’s best delivery in the demo since launch (November 2013).

Erin Burnett Outfront has topped On the Record with Brit Hume in the demo for eight straight days. Hume took over the timeslot when Greta Van Susteren departed last month. This is the the longest winning streak for CNN during the 7 p.m. hour in more than 16 years.

Can CNN continue to thrive in the demo as we move through the second half of October? We’ll find out soon, with the next big test coming on Wednesday and the third and final presidential debate of 2016.

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