Creeping closer: MSNBC has good week competing with Fox

This image released by NBC shows Rachel Maddow, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show," on MSNBC. (MSNBC via AP)

MSNBC beat long-dominant Fox News Channel last week among a key demographic in a week where FBI Director James Comey's firing dominated the news

NEW YORK — With President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey the week's big story, MSNBC had one of its best ratings weeks in memory — perhaps an ominous sign for troubled Fox News Channel.

MSNBC topped Fox among the 25-to-54-year-old age demographic for the first time since the week of Dec. 29, 2008, just after Barack Obama's first election, the Nielsen company said. Although the majority of cable news viewers are older than that, the demographic takes on outsize importance because advertisers pay a premium for the younger viewers.

Fox won the week when everyone is counted, with 2.6 million viewers on the weekdays. But MSNBC has crept much closer, finishing with 2.39 million viewers with the help of a prime-time lineup led by Rachel Maddow. CNN had 1.32 million viewers last week, Nielsen said.

It's a time of opportunity for rivals of Fox News, long the dominant cable news network, because of last month's firing of Bill O'Reilly, Fox's most popular personality, who lost his job after it was revealed the network was paying millions of dollars in settlements to women who charged him with harassment. O'Reilly has denied the charges, saying he was the victim of a determined liberal campaign. Tucker Carlson leads Fox's new prime-time lineup.

Between 2008 and 2016, Fox News beat MSNBC by an average of 1.42 million viewers each week — and last week the margin sunk to just over 200,000.

With the exception of two weeks won by MSNBC during the Democratic conventions in 2016 and 2012 — when Fox's predominantly conservative audience found reasons to be away from the TV — the closest MSNBC had been to Fox in total viewers was losing by a margin of 178,000 viewers in April 2001, Nielsen said. CNN has beaten Fox in total viewers six times over the past two years.

Related News

With 'Formation' and 'Black Beatles,' Mike WiLL has made it

Mar 30, 2017

Mike WiLL Made-It has really made it after the Atlanta-based producer saw major success last year by co-producing Beyonce's massive hit "Formation" and laying down the track for Rae Sremmurd's No. 1 hit "Black Beatles."

Real-life investigators object to portrayal in 'Sully' movie

Sep 8, 2016

Accident investigators say they object to their portrayal in a new movie based on the "Miracle on the Hudson" river ditching of an airliner seven years ago

Fisher's finish leads to Match Play and a shot at Masters

Mar 7, 2017

Ross Fisher arrived at the Mexico Championship fully aware that it could be his last significant tournament for the next month

You may also like these

With 'Formation' and 'Black Beatles,' Mike WiLL has made it

Mar 30, 2017

Mike WiLL Made-It has really made it after the Atlanta-based producer saw major success last year by co-producing Beyonce's massive hit "Formation" and laying down the track for Rae Sremmurd's No. 1 hit "Black Beatles."

Real-life investigators object to portrayal in 'Sully' movie

Sep 8, 2016

Accident investigators say they object to their portrayal in a new movie based on the "Miracle on the Hudson" river ditching of an airliner seven years ago

Fisher's finish leads to Match Play and a shot at Masters

Mar 7, 2017

Ross Fisher arrived at the Mexico Championship fully aware that it could be his last significant tournament for the next month

Financial Markets

In Celeb Wired, we talk about everything in the entertainment industry from A to Z. We keep our gossip hunters updated with the daily hot news because we have exactly what you’re looking for.

Contact us: sales@celebwired.com

Celebrity Adult Entertainment Animation & Comics Award Shows Beauty Pageants Books & Literature Fashion Shows Movies Music Radio Programs Television Programs Variety Shows Press