The Top Cable News Programs of January 2019 Were…

By A.J. Katz Comment

President Trump has experienced a turbulent start to 2019, and that has resulted in good ratings for the cable news programs which have audiences who aren’t too fond of him.

Rachel Maddow is the best example of this phenomenon. The Rachel Maddow Show averaged 3.29 million total viewers for the month of January, per live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen. That’s a record audience for an MSNBC program, and the largest average audience for any program on cable news this month. She finished in second place behind Sean Hannity in January 2018, yet was able to leapfrog her fellow 9 p.m. cable newser this year.

Not only was Maddow No. 1 in January, but her show was +8 percent in total viewers vs. what it delivered in Jan. 2018.

Hannity finished No. 2 this month, and was -7 percent in total viewers vs. what he delivered in January 2018. Tucker Carlson, who finished No. 3 across the board this month, was -6 percent in total viewers vs. in January 2018.

Other top 10 finishers include, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, which was +9 percent year-over-year, The Five (+1 percent), The Ingraham Angle (-12 percent), Special Report with Bret Baier (-10 percent), All in with Chris Hayes (+9 percent), The Story with Martha MacCallum (-18 percent) and Hardball with Chris Matthews (+4 percent).

With the exception of The Five (which was flat), all of Fox News’ powerhouse shows were down this month vs. what they delivered in January 2018. Nevertheless, FNC remained No. 1.

*Note: This data excludes specials and breaking news.

Cable News Top 10 (Total Viewers)

  1. The Rachel Maddow Show (3,288,000)
  2. Hannity (3,044,000)
  3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (2,808,000)
  4. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (2,570,000)
  5. The Five (2,557,000)
  6. The Ingraham Angle (2,261,000)
  7. Special Report with Bret Baier (2,259,000)
  8. All In with Chris Hayes (2,181,000)
  9. The Story with Martha MacCallum (1,894,000)
  10. Hardball with Chris Matthews (1,850,000)

CNN had a strong January and saw growth in the younger demos. Cuomo Prime Time was the fourth-most-watched cable news show of the month among adults 25-54, and posted +25 percent growth in the demo vs. what it delivered in January 2018.

Anderson Cooper 360 was +4 percent in A25-54 viewers this month vs. what it delivered in January 2018. The remaining top 10 shows, including those on MSNBC, were down significantly in the demo vs. the prior January.

Cable News Top 10 (A25-54)

  1. The Rachel Maddow Show (606,000)
  2. Hannity (538,000)
  3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (509,000)
  4. Cuomo Prime Time (489,000)
  5. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (439,000)
  6. The Ingraham Angle (415,000)
  7. Anderson Cooper 360 (407,000)
  8. The Five (405,000)
  9. All In with Chris Hayes (385,000)
  10. Special Report with Bret Baier (377,000)

Lastly, here are two expanded cable news program rankers. The first is sorted by Total Viewers, while the second is Adults 25-54.

Cable news program ranker: January 2019 (Total Viewers)

Cable news show ranker: January 2019 (Adults 25-54)

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