October 2013 Ratings: CNN Still Third, As Shows See Growth

By Chris Ariens 

CNN finishes October in third place among the news networks, but experiencing less less of a loss than their cable counterparts and seeing growth among all weekday programs. Compared to October, 2012, CNN is down -45% among total viewers and down -50% in the demo in primetime. The total day losses for CNN are -9% in viewers and -19% in the demo.

The ratings for October, 2013 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 576,000 Total Viewers / 189,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 441,000 Total Viewers / 135,000 A25-54

New weekday programs including “New Day,” “The Lead” and “Crossfire” grew their audiences compared to the programs they replaced.

“New Day” is the only cable news morning program showing growth vs. a year ago in both total viewers (up +15%) and the A25-54 demo rating (+2%). “The Lead with Jake Tapper” at 4pm was up +33% in total viewers and up +34% in the demo, coming in No. 2 in its timeslot. “Crossfire” at 6:30pm is up +11% in viewers and up +17% in the demo.


“Crossfire” is Up +11% in Total Viewers and +17% in Demo Rating; “New Day” is also Up Compared to CNN Programming a Year Ago

“Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” Ranks #1 in Cable News in Demo Rating and is Up Triple-Digits in Both Total Viewers and Demo 25-54

CNN Mobile Video Up 10x; Politics Section Posts Best Month of the Year

In spite of October’s highly partisan news cycle, all CNN weekday programs were up this month vs. a year ago; while every FXNC and MSNBC weekday program was down. This month, Fox News Channel’s program line-up declined each weekday hour by double-digits vs. a year ago among the 25-54 demo rating. MSNBC posted the largest 25-54 rating declines in cable news vs. a year ago every weekday hour from 8:00a – 10:00p (with the exception of 7p).

Year-to-date, CNN ranks as the #2 cable news network in total day (6a-6a) in both total viewers (434k) and in the demo 25-54 rating (140k).

For the month of October — all CNN weekday programming from New Day, to Crossfire and throughout primetime grew vs. a year ago, highlights include:

New Day (6-9a): For the month, New Day is the only cable news morning program showing growth vs. a year ago in both total viewers (up +15%) and 25-54 demo rating (+2%). Both Fox and Friends and Morning Joe are registering double-digit declines among 25-54 (-22%/-24%, respectively).

CNN Newsroom (9a-4p): Ranked #2, topping MSNBC in both total viewers (570k vs. 455k) and in the demo (148k vs. 101k). CNN daytime also saw double-digit growth vs. last year (+36% in total viewers/+20% in key demo rating); while MSNBC daytime is down -13%/-36% and FXNC daytime is off -16%/-24%.

The Lead with Jake Tapper (4p): Posted double digit growth this month – increasing +33% in total viewers and +34% in demo 25-54 rating. FXNC and MSNBC are both down in total viewers (-11%/-16%) and both lost significant viewers in the demo rating with FXNC down -25% and MSNBC off -38%. The Lead also ranked #2 in the demo 25-54 at 4 pm.

The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer: Ranked #2 in the demo at 5p, topping The Ed Show (196k vs. 171k) and growing in both total viewers (+35%) and in the demo (+45%) compared to last year. The Ed Show is down -25% among total viewers and -39% in the demo rating while The Five is off -6% and -19%, respectively. The Sit Room at 5p was CNN’s top-rated weekday program among total viewers (716k). At 6p, Blitzer’s show also ranked #2 in the demo 25-54 and is up double-digits in both demos, while the competition is down double-digits in both demos.

Crossfire (6:30pm): Crossfire is the only cable news program during this time period to grow (compared to FXNC and MSNBC) — increasing +11% in total viewers and up +17% in the demo rating compared to CNN programming a year ago. FXNC lost -28% of its 25-54 demo audience and MSNBC is down -39% vs. a year ago. And among total viewers, FXNC is off -18% and MSNBC is down -23%.

Erin Burnett Outfront (7p): Is the only program in the time period to grow vs. last year, increasing +15% among total viewers (573k vs. 500k) and +13% in demo 25-54 (186k vs. 165k). FXNC is down -21% in total viewers and -36% among 25-54 and MSNBC’s Hardball is off -3% in total viewers and down -27% in the demo rating.

AC 360 (8p): Is registering the largest growth vs. a year ago of CNN’s weekday primetime line-up (up +27% in total viewers and +19% among demo rating) and was the network’s top-rated weekday program in demo 25-54 (211k). FXNC and MSNBC continued to register notable declines at 8p, with O’Reilly Factor down -28% in total viewers and -41% in younger viewers 25-54 while MSNBC’s All in Chris Hayes was off 33%/46% compared to a year ago. AC 360 Later (10p) was up +6% in total viewers (528k vs. 497k) and up +5% (180k vs. 172k) in the demo vs. a year ago.

Piers Morgan Live (9p): The show also saw increases vs. last year – growing +10% in total viewers (638k vs. 578k) and +6% in the demo rating (186k vs. 176k). Both MSNBC and FXNC lost a substantial amount of viewers at 9p with The Rachel Maddow Show down -32% in total viewers and -49% in the demo rating and FXNC 9p programming off -32%/-44%, respectively.

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown on Sundays at 9p ranked #1 among cable news in its time period with 327k among 25-54 viewers — far ahead of FXNC’s Justice with Judge Jeanine/Stossel Special (110k) and MSNBC’s Docs (127k). The show posted triple-digit growth over a year ago among both total viewers (+114%, 722k vs. 337k) and demo rating (+289%, 327k vs. 84k).

Last October cable news viewing was elevated due to 2012 presidential election coverage which included the four Presidential Commission Debates. As a result, all three cable news networks were down in the overall primetime (8-11p) and total day (6a-6a) dayparts vs. a year ago.

MSNBC continued to get a ratings bounce from the network’s doc series MSNBC Investigates and MSNBC Specials this month. Without these series, (Lock Up, Caught on Camera, Undercover, To Catch a Predator, Predator Raw) MSNBC slips to #3 in total day in the key demo (dropping from 145k to 134k).

CNN Digital

In October 2013, CNN’s domestic mobile website posted 339 million page views (up 36% from October 2012) and 5 million video starts (10 times more than October 2012). CNN has clocked year-over-year gains in mobile web page views for 16 consecutive months and in mobile video starts for the past 13 months.

Source: Bango Analytics for Mobile Web from August 2012 through July 2013, Adobe Reports & Analytics for Mobile Web August 2013 forward, October 2013 data includes through October 27, 2013.

With four days remaining in October 2013, CNNPolitics.com reached 95 million page views — up 90% over the previous month. Earning 14 million page views on October 3rd, the section had its highest day of the year. CNN Politics ranked #1 in the Politics category for the week of Oct.6 with 11.5 million unique visitors, beating HuffPost Politics by 43% and NBCNews.com Politics by 54%.

Sources: Adobe Reports & Analytics, thru Oct.27. comScore Media Metrix, weekly data, week ending 10/6/13.

CNN’s social referrals more than doubled in Oct. 2013 versus the same month of last year.