MSNBC Tops Fox News On Back-To-Back Nights In Primetime Demo

By Alex Weprin 

Last night, for the second night in a row, MSNBC beat Fox News in primetime (8-11pm) in the key adults 25-54 demo. On Monday MSNBC averaged 471,000 demo viewers to Fox News Channel’s 469,000. On Tuesday, MSNBC drew 575,000 demo viewers, to FNC’s 526,000. We will have the full ratings numbers in The Scoreboard a little later on.

The number one show in the demo on cable news is always, always “The O’Reilly Factor” unless there is some sort of unusual news event or huge booking.

Last night, there was no big news event, but the number one show in the demo was MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” This is despite the fact that O’Reilly had a big (and younger-skewing) guest in Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. Maddow at 9pm drew 703,000 demo viewers to O’Reilly’s 682,000 at 8pm.


Last night in head to head match ups, MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” was fewer than 200,000 viewers behind the “Factor” in the demo, while Maddow and “The Last Word” had clean wins over “Hannity” and “On the Record,” respectively. In total viewers, O’Reilly doubled “Ed” in the ratings, while “Hannity” led Maddow by 206,000 viewers. At 10 PM, “On the Record” topped “The Last Word” by 100,000 total viewers.

FNC remains the top cable news channel in total viewers, but advertisers buy against adults 25-54 (that is why we have always led with the demo in The Scoreboard), so this shift has the potential to be a seismic one if MSNBC can maintain it.