February cable ratings are in — Piers Morgan may be out at CNN, but what about the rest of the network’s primetime, which looked none too good for the month, all losing around half their audience compared to same month last year? CNN‘s Anderson Cooper at 8 PM dropped 47% February to February in overall audience to average 421,000 viewers, and 46% in the news demo to 127,000 viewers for the month, according to Nielsen. In his defense, Cooper’s lead-in, Erin Burnett Outfront, dropped 39% to post an average of 293,000 viewers in February — CNN’s smallest monthly haul in the timeslot in more than two decades — and slipped 32% in the news demo to 100,000 viewers. Morgan’s getting scrubbed from 9 PM at CNN because, for instance, he logged 347,000 viewers for the month — down 46% — and 100,000 demo viewers — down 38%.
Meanwhile, Fox News Channel has now reached 146 consecutive months at No. 1 in total viewers, in both total day and primetime, among cable news networks, and is for February the only cable network up in both total viewers and the demo compared to last February. In all of cable, Fox News ranked third in primetime (8-11 PM) – behind USA Network and History – and fifth for total day. Meanwhile, neither CNN or MSNBC were able to crack the top 20 in either daypart. CNN ranked 39th in prime and 34th in today day; MSNBC 26th in prime and 27th in total day. Every hour of the day, Fox News dominated CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers. It also beat both networks in the news demo.
FNC claimed the Top 13 cable news programs in total viewers, and eight of the Top 10 programs in the news demo. The O’Reilly Factor still leads the pack, and edged up 3% February to February in overall audience (2.937 million) and 2% in the demo (450,000). But The Kelly File jumped 23% in overall audience (2.337 million) and 11% in the demo (354,000).
At MSNBC, regularly primetime programs enjoyed some demo uptick in Feburary, but the network’s overall primetime demo performance slipped because it includes other programming that ran during prime slots. Rachel Maddow is still the top player, averaging 996,000 total viewers and 287,000 demo viewers at 9 PM — but in so doing she’s flat and up 7%, respectively. At 7 PM, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews jumped 24% and 17%, to 925,000 overall viewers and 232,000 demo viewers, respectively.
The Top 5 programs in cable news for February:
Total Viewers: The O’Reilly Factor (2,937,000); The Kelly File (2,337,000); Special Report w/ Bret Baier (2,114,000); The Five (2,107,000); On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren (1,938,000)
Adults 25-54: The O’Reilly Factor (450,000); The Five (358,000); The Kelly File (354,000); Special Report w/ Bret Baier (315,000); On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (299,000)