CNN, which continues to position itself in the middle of MSNBC and Fox News (as much in the middle as anyone can in these polarizing sides where audiences crave political controversy and conflict) is seeing its ratings trend up although Fox continues to dominate cable ratings.
For the second straight quarter, CNN posted substantial, double-digit growth compared to the same period in 2010. “AC360? and “John King USA” were among the shows to see the most growth.
The numbers for Q2 2011:
Total day (Mon-Sun): 493K Total / 172K A25-54
Prime (Mon-Sun): 683K Total / 219K A25-54
Year-to-year, CNN was up in both total viewers and the demo in primetime and total day for Q2. The network had stronger growth than both MSNBC and Fox News, with the entire primetime lineup seeing growth year-to-year. CNN still placed third overall in primetime and second in total day in both total and demo viewers.
The strongest performs for the network included “AC360,” which topped MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” in both total and demo viewers, and was up +43% in the demo compared to 2010. “John King USA” was up +20% in total viewers and +32% in the demo compared to last year. “Piers Morgan Tonight” was up+16% in the demo compared to “Larry King Live” last year. Even 8 PM’s “In the Arena,” was up +14% in total viewers and +21% in the demo compared to 2010. “ITA” was the only 8 PM show on cable news to grow year to year in the demo.
As usual, Fox News Channel dominated the cable news ratings in Q2 2011, beating out CNN and MSNBC combined in both primetime and total day. Here’s how the network fared in Q2 2011:
Primetime (Mon-Sun): 1.809M Total Viewers / 413K A25-54
Total Day (Mon-Sun): 1.027M Total Viewers / 269K A25-54
FNC had the top 12 cable news shows in total viewers and the top eight cable news shows in the A25-54 demographic. The primetime lineup continues to be a consistent ratings draw, with “The O’Reilly Factor” (2.824M/636K) and “Hannity” (2.036M/501K) topping the list of cable news shows in both categories.
Despite finishing third in the A25-54 demographic, “The Glenn Beck” show saw a decline of -25% in viewers compared to the same period last year. Glenn Beck’s last broadcast in the 5 p.m. timeslot will be this week. “On The Record” was also down.
Roger Ailes is probably breathing a sigh of relief.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.