Fox News Still on Top in Ratings War

Fox holds its 15-year-run at No. 1—but MSNBC is gaining
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2017 7:23 AM CDT
Fox News Still on Top in Ratings War
Tucker Carlson, right, is holding its own after replacing top-rated Bill O'Reilly at Fox News.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Despite sexual-harassment scandals that prompted marquee-name resignations, Fox News is still on top. Rupert Murdoch's network clinched the most prime-time viewers among cable news networks, reports the Wall Street Journal, and even increased its hold among the much-desired demographic of 25- to 45-year-olds in the latest Nielsen ratings ending in June. The score surprised some media observers who expected Fox to take a hit after losing star host Bill O'Reilly, who was replaced by Tucker Carlson. While his audience is smaller, Carlson is beating O'Reilly in the coveted 25-to-54 group, and the network gained 21% overall in that age group over last year. The Five round-table show saw a rise after replacing The Kelly File, following host Megyn Kelly's jump to NBC. (Adweek has a scorecard by time slot.)

But it wasn't all bad news for the runners up: All three networks are clocking far more viewers than before the presidential election, though Fox has watched its lead slip since November. Left-leaning MSNBC is closing in with the biggest ratings growth—72% among 25- to 54-year-olds over the past year—thanks to Rachel Maddow's show, which is tops among that demographic. Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell saw a 97% boost among that same group, though it still lags behind Sean Hannity's show on Fox News, which gained 31%. Overall, Fox News racked up 472,000 prime-time viewers, with 389,000 for MSNBC, and 370,000 for CNN. Fox News co-President Jack Abernethy tells the Journal that 2017 has been "a great year by virtually all measures." (President Trump, for his part, is no fan of CNN.)

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