MSNBC is boasting that it finished the month of May in first place demo-wise during weekday primetime, besting both Fox News Channel and CNN for the first time in nearly 17 years.
Fox News Channel, however, notes primetime plays across the full week, and it won the month in primetime news demo without the qualifier.
FNC clocked 453K news demo viewers in primetime for the month, up 23% over May 2016. FNC also dominated primetime in total viewers with with 2.24M, an 11% increase.
MSNBC finished second to FNC in both metrics, but is May’s prettiest dress in the primetime store, owing to its whopping 101% May-to-May spike in the demo (417K) and 105% in total viewer (1.689M). CNN also popped up – 39% in the demo (399K) and 26% in total viewers (1.12M).
FNC also dominated total day in May with 302K news-demo viewers (up 40%) and 1.423M total viewers (up 22%). In the demo CNN (274K, up 59%) bested MSNBC (221K, up 78%). But MSNBC outstripped CNN in overall audience (925K, up 93% vs 821K, up 41%, respectively).
MSNBC said its The Rachel Maddow Show was May’s No. 1 show across all of cable news in that key 25-54 age bracket.
Fox News Channel pointed to Tucker Carlson Tonight as May’s No. 1 show across all of cable news in overall audience.
In the demo, Carlson’s show (525K) trailed only Maddow’s (637K) for the month, though in a virtual tie with MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (523K).
But MSNBC noted higher up in its headlines that Brian Williams’ The 11th Hour was No. 1 at 11 PM in both the demo and total viewers. At 10 PM, O’Donnell’s 523K news-demo viewers bested Hannity’s 518K.
As of this writing, MSNBC does not yet have a new contract deal with O’Donnell amid reports NBC News super-honcho Andy Lack wants to move Williams’ show into the post-Rachel 10 PM timeslot.
Meanwhile, Maddow’s was the only non-FNC program to crack the Top 5 for the month in total viewers: Tucker Carlson Tonight (2.671M), Rachel Maddow Show (2.578M), The Five (2.365M), Hannity (2.361M), Special Report with Bret Baier (2.28M).
MSNBC’s dayside slate delivered its highest ever monthly total-viewer tally. Morning Joe surged to more than 1M total viewers for the first time, with its highest rated non-election month in the news demo.
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