CNN hasn’t delivered the massive prime time audiences its cable news competitors have in recent months, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t posting ratings records of its own.
Despite a No. 3 finish in prime time for January 2018, and a year-over-year ratings decline (due in part to inauguration coverage in Jan. 2017), CNN still managed to post its third-best January on record among both adults 25-54 and total viewers.
CNN finished No. 9 in total day audience, and No. 14 in total prime time audience.
CNN has now topped MSNBC during the daytime hours for 47 straight months among adults 25-54.
The ratings for January, 2018 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):
- Prime time (Mon-Sun): 927,000 total viewers / 329,000 A25-54
- Total Day (Mon-Sun): 713,000 total viewers / 237,000 A25-54
Starting in the morning – New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota grew double digits from last January, up +38 percent among adults 25-54 and up +21 percent in total viewers. But the program finished third behind Fox & Friends and Morning Joe in key categories, including adults 25-54.
CNN finished ahead of MSNBC in the demo during the afternoon and early evening hours. Programs like Inside Politics With John King, The Lead With Jake Tapper and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer finished No. 2 among adults 25-54 in their respective time slots.
Erin Burnett Outfront finished No. 2 in its time slot among adults 25-54 as well, while Anderson Cooper 360 and CNN Tonight With Don Lemon slipped to third.
On the weekends, Smerconish, Fareed Zakaria GPS, and Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter were among the shows to finish No. 2 in the demo in their respective slots.
Here’s the January 2018 ratings press release from CNN:
CNN BEATS MSNBC FOR 43rd STRAIGHT MONTH IN JANUARY
Network Has its Third-Best January on Record
New Day Up Double Digits vs. Last Year;
Tapper, Blitzer and Burnett Top MSNBC among Adults 25-54
CNN Ranks as a Top 10 Network in All of Cable
Even though CNN had record-high viewership last January leading up to and including the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, this year the network had its third-best January on record among both adults 25-54 and total viewers. In prime time, CNN had its third best January audience levels in both demos since 2008.
CNN once again surpassed MSNBC in total day, daytime and weekends for the month of January among adults 25-54. CNN has now beaten MSNBC in total day for 43 straight months in the key demographic 25-54 (238k vs. 225k), the longest monthly streak since January 2010.
CNN also beat MSNBC throughout daytime programming (9am-4pm), averaging a +21% advantage in the key demo 25-54 (239k vs. 198k). All of CNN’s daytime programs posted higher demo 25-54 audiences than MSNBC. CNN has now topped MSNBC during the daytime hours for 47 straight months among adults 25-54.
CNN also easily outperformed MSNBC during weekend programming in both total day (206k vs. MSNBC’s 142k) and prime time (199k vs. MSNBC’s 131k) among adults 25-54. CNN topped MSNBC for 23 out of 24 hours on Saturdays and for 22 out of 24 hours on Sunday among adults 25-54. CNN also ranked #1 in cable news topping both Fox News and MSNBC on Saturdays in each hour from 1p-5p and on Sundays at 12p, each hour from 3p-8p and at 4a and 5a.
CNN’s New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota grew double digits, increasing an impressive +38% among adult 25-54 (216k vs. 2017’s 156k) and was up +21% in total viewers (597k vs. 2017’s 492k) compared to last January, the month of the president’s inauguration. Erin Burnett Outfront (7pm) topped MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews among adults 25-54 (372k vs. MSNBC’s 363k) and has now topped MSNBC for four of out the last six months. Despite last year’s unprecedented prime time ratings in January, Anderson Cooper 360 (8pm) was about even in the key demo (402k vs. 2017’s 408k) and was CNN’s top-rated prime time program in the key demo (402k) and total viewers (1.164m). CNN Tonight with Don Lemon (10pm) was also about even in the key demo (392k vs. 2017’s 394k) vs. last year.
Other key CNN programs such as Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs, The Lead with Jake Tapper, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Smerconish, State of the Union with Jake Tapper (No. 1 at noon), Inside Politics with John King, Fareed Zakaria GPS and Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter all easily surpassed MSNBC this month, posting higher demo 25-54 audiences.
The premiere of The Van Jones Show on January 27 easily topped MSNBC in the time period (7-8pm) by +75% in the key demo (217k vs. MSNBC’s 124k). The Axe Files with David Axelrod (158k) which aired on 1/13/18 was ranked #1 in cable news in the 7-8pm time period and was ahead of MSNBC by double digits (+44%; 158k vs. 110k).
All of Cable:
Among ALL cable networks, CNN ranked #9 in total day in total viewer delivery.
Year-to-date, CNN attracts an audience that is five years younger than Fox News and four years younger than MSNBC in total day, and seven years younger than Fox News and MSNBC in prime time. MSNBC is tracking at its oldest yearly median age on record in total day (tied with 2017).
CNN Films: Trophy premiere (Sunday 1/14/18, 9-11pm) ranked #2 in cable news in both adults 25-54 and total viewers, beating MSNBC in the time period by double-digits in adults 25-54 (+24%; 164k) and total viewers (+23%; 453k).
For 2017 in total day, CNN averaged a +7% lift with Out-of-Home 25-54 viewers. Among ALL reportable Out-of-Home cable networks, CNN ranked #2 with 25-54 viewers gained (+17k), behind only ESPN (+36k).