The scandals of the Obama administration seem to be hurting not just the White House but MSNBC as well, while Fox News Channel has just scored its second-best week of the year. After double-digit gains during last year’s presidential election, May 13-17 saw the progressive-aligned “Lean Forward” news network hit new lows as the IRS scandal erupted and revelations that the Justice Department secretly obtained AP records became public. With 350,000 viewers on average and 94,000 in the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC had its least-watched and lowest-rated total-day results of the year last week. That was also the lowest total-day demo result the network has had since the week of June 26-July 2, 2006, when MSNBC pulled in just 83,000 viewers among adults 25-54, according to Nielsen data.
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For MSNBC, last week’s total day results were down 17% in viewers and 22% among the demo from the comparable May 14 to May 18 week of last year. In primetime, the numbers were even worse as a steady decline from the beginning of the year continued. The network had 570,000 total viewers and 159,000 in the demo from 8-11 PM from May 13 to May 17, 2013. That’s the lowest-rated week of the year so far for MSNBC in terms of viewers and the third-lowest of 2013 in the demo. The week of May 6-12 was worst in the demo with 148,000 viewers when the network had 604,000 viewers on average. These latest results come as the news network’s recently launched and struggling All In With Chris Hayes hit a new viewership los of 396,000 and its second-lowest demo audience of just 88,000 on May 14. It also comes on the heels of MSNBC falling in April ratings from its second place ranking of the year before.
Related: Fox Tops April Cable News Ratings While CNN Posts Big Gains
Looking at last week’s numbers, MSNBC is down 27% in viewership and among adults 25-54 in primetime next to the comparable week in 2012. In comparison, No. 1 cable news network Fox News Channel had 1.491 million total day viewers and 283,000 in the demo last week. That’s Fox News’ second most watched week of the year after the week of the Boston Marathon bombings. FNC had 2.396 million total viewers and 356,000 among adults 25-54 in primetime from May 13-17. That’s a 1% demo drop in total day and a 10% drop in primetime compared to the same frame last year. However it is a 31% total day viewership rise and a 17% primetime audience lift over the comparable week of May 14-18, 2012.
Boasting about his network’s victory over CNN last year and in February, MSNBC’s president Phil Griffin said earlier this year that he aimed to beat FNC by 2014. The Comcast-owned network did actually top FNC a couple of nights last year during the heat of the Presidential election. But Griffin’s effort fell short last week. In total day, MSNBC was fourth after Fox News Channel, CNN and HLN in viewers and among adults 25-54 last week. In primetime last week, MSNBC beat CNN’s 544,000 total viewers to snag third place but came fourth in the demo after FNC, HLN and CNN.