Fox News Tops Rankings for 10th Year
Roger Ailes' plan was a winner, anchor says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2012 4:39 AM CST
Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch answer questions about their new network at a press conference in 1996.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

(Newser) – Fox News has plenty of critics—including Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy—but it also has more viewers than its two closest rivals combined, according to the latest Nielsen Ratings. The figures show that Fox is the most-watched cable news channel for the 10th year in a row, averaging 1.86 million viewers in prime time, while MSNBC had 775,000 and CNN had 689,000, the New York Daily News reports.

Fox beat CNN to the top spot five years after its launch in 1996, and has been there ever since. At the outset, Fox News chief Roger Ailes promised to make the network No. 1, recalls anchor Shepard Smith. "No category leader had ever been dethroned in cable. He had a plan and he said if we stick with it, we’d be OK," says Smith, who predicts years of Fox dominance ahead. "I don’t know why it can’t last,” he says. “It’s lasted 10 years."