Rachel Maddow has made MSNBC a prime-time contender with dizzying speed, the New York Times reports. The liberal pundit's Rachel Maddow Show more than doubled the network's ratings in the 9 pm slot within days of its debut six weeks ago, and has beaten CNN's Larry King Live among viewers ages 25 to 54 more often than not.
"I'm pinching myself," said MSNBC's president. Maddow's swift ascent is remarkable even amid across-the-board ratings boosts for news channels attributed to election fever. Things may cool down after November 4, but Maddow has already turned cable news into a three-way race, said MSNBC executives.