‘Chung’ slips past Phil to take second

'O'Reilly Factor' far ahead in first

The yakker battle for second place in primetime between MSNBC’s “Donahue” and CNN’s “Connie Chung Tonight” is a photo finish — with Chung hanging on by a hair.

Since Phil Donahue launched his gabfest on MSNBC’s rejiggered primetime sked July 15, he’s averaged 620,000 viewers, compared with Chung’s 746,000 in the same 8 o’clock hour, according to the final July Nielsen ratings. Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor,” hosted by Bill O’Reilly, is well ahead of both, taking in an average total aud of just about 2 million. (MSNBC and Fox News have smaller distribution than CNN.)

In total household ratings during the same time slot, Chung grabbed .7 compared with the godfather of gab’s .6. O’Reilly pulled in a 1.8.

But most news cablers can boast a staggering amount of year-to-year viewership growth from July 2001 to July 2002.

In total day, CNN jumped 57% to an average of 514,000 viewers, while MSNBC is up 17% to 266,000. Frontrunner Fox News spiked 97% to 621,000.

Media watchers have attributed this mostly to post-9/11 issues and persisting interest in the faltering economy. “This July has been a much stronger month for news,” said Tim Brooks, a ratings guru who is senior veepee of research for Lifetime Networks.

Brooks thinks that the CNN-Fox News rivalry has bolstered interest in cable news. “Two powerhouse networks competing in a given category will enhance both of them,” he said. “Just look at Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.”

More TV

  • THE EXPANSE -- "Intransigence" Episode 309

    'The Expanse' Moves to Amazon for Season 4

    The yakker battle for second place in primetime between MSNBC’s “Donahue” and CNN’s “Connie Chung Tonight” is a photo finish — with Chung hanging on by a hair. Since Phil Donahue launched his gabfest on MSNBC’s rejiggered primetime sked July 15, he’s averaged 620,000 viewers, compared with Chung’s 746,000 in the same 8 o’clock hour, […]

  • Arrested Development Season 5 review

    TV Review: 'Arrested Development' Season 5 on Netflix

    The yakker battle for second place in primetime between MSNBC’s “Donahue” and CNN’s “Connie Chung Tonight” is a photo finish — with Chung hanging on by a hair. Since Phil Donahue launched his gabfest on MSNBC’s rejiggered primetime sked July 15, he’s averaged 620,000 viewers, compared with Chung’s 746,000 in the same 8 o’clock hour, […]

  • Showtime Executive, Gary Garfinkle.Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS©2012

    Gary Garfinkel, Co-Head of Content Acquisitions at Showtime, Dies at 55

    The yakker battle for second place in primetime between MSNBC’s “Donahue” and CNN’s “Connie Chung Tonight” is a photo finish — with Chung hanging on by a hair. Since Phil Donahue launched his gabfest on MSNBC’s rejiggered primetime sked July 15, he’s averaged 620,000 viewers, compared with Chung’s 746,000 in the same 8 o’clock hour, […]

  • KIM POSSIBLE - The cast of

    'Kim Possible' Disney Channel Movie Casts Its Dr. Drakken, Shego, Other Key Characters

    The yakker battle for second place in primetime between MSNBC’s “Donahue” and CNN’s “Connie Chung Tonight” is a photo finish — with Chung hanging on by a hair. Since Phil Donahue launched his gabfest on MSNBC’s rejiggered primetime sked July 15, he’s averaged 620,000 viewers, compared with Chung’s 746,000 in the same 8 o’clock hour, […]

  • Ted Danson Remote Controlled Podcast

    Remote Controlled: 'The Good Place' Star Ted Danson on His 'Delicious' Role

    The yakker battle for second place in primetime between MSNBC’s “Donahue” and CNN’s “Connie Chung Tonight” is a photo finish — with Chung hanging on by a hair. Since Phil Donahue launched his gabfest on MSNBC’s rejiggered primetime sked July 15, he’s averaged 620,000 viewers, compared with Chung’s 746,000 in the same 8 o’clock hour, […]

  • Josh Holloway Colony

    Josh Holloway on Season 3 of 'Colony' in Trump Era: 'It's Scary, the Parallels of This Show'

    The yakker battle for second place in primetime between MSNBC’s “Donahue” and CNN’s “Connie Chung Tonight” is a photo finish — with Chung hanging on by a hair. Since Phil Donahue launched his gabfest on MSNBC’s rejiggered primetime sked July 15, he’s averaged 620,000 viewers, compared with Chung’s 746,000 in the same 8 o’clock hour, […]

  • Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class'

    Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class' in Showrunner Switch

    The yakker battle for second place in primetime between MSNBC’s “Donahue” and CNN’s “Connie Chung Tonight” is a photo finish — with Chung hanging on by a hair. Since Phil Donahue launched his gabfest on MSNBC’s rejiggered primetime sked July 15, he’s averaged 620,000 viewers, compared with Chung’s 746,000 in the same 8 o’clock hour, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content