Fox News Remains Ratings Champ As 2013 Comes to Close

Greta Van Susteren, Bill O'Reilly, Megyn

It and rivals CNN, MSNBC down from last year

Fox News Channel maintained its grip on the cable-news network ratings prize in 2013, drawing more viewers than the combined averages of CNN, MSNBC and HLN.

It was a down year in terms of overall audience, as every newsie but HLN showed primetime declines from their Presidential Election-driven tallies of 2012.

According to Nielsen data through Dec. 8, Fox News Channel averaged 1.774 million viewers in primetime (down 13% from 2012) and 297,000 adults 25-54 (down 30%). It was followed by MSNBC with 645,000 viewers and 203,000 adults 25-54 (down 29% in both); CNN with 578,000 (down 15%) and 187,000 adults 25-54 (down 16%); and HLN with 403,000 total viewer (up 21%) and 142,000 in the demo (up 27%).

Among all basic cable networks in 2013, FNC ranked sixth in primetime while MSNBC was 29th and CNN was 31st. In total day, Fox ran fourth while CNN was 28th and MSNBC ran 30th; in 2012, CNN finished behind MSNBC. CNN and HLN showed some year-over-year gains on a total-day basis, while FNC and MSNBC were down.

Fox and CNN both made some significant changes to their lineup in 2013, with FNC’s revamped primetime lineup, introduced on Oct. 7, posting gains in both total viewers and adults 25-54 vs. the block’s 2013 season-to-date average. The newest program, “The Kelly File” with Megyn Kelly, has improved the 9 p.m. hour by 23% in total viewers and 13% in adults 25-54, and “The O’Reilly Factor” is the top show in cable news (2.78 million, 439,000 adults 25-54).

Also of note outside of primetime, “The Five” (5-6 p.m. ET) and “Red Eye” (3-4 a.m. ET) had their most-watched years to date.

Best news for CNN, which is on pace for its least-watched year on record in primetime, was that it was able to hold steady or rise a bit in various total-day categories, like afternoon show “The Lead With Jake Tapper,” which is second among the cable news nets in its timeslot. Morning show “News Day” is up a bit vs. last year in total viewers but is averaging less than 300,000 daily and is down vs. what the net was drawing in the time period earlier this year.

Elsewhere at CNN, the reboot of “Crossfire” has struggled, averaging 400,000 viewers, but the net made some noise — especially in the 25-54 demo — with some of its CNN Films specials.

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  1. I don’t care for silly Watter’s World or Dennis Miller, but otherwise, Fox does more for charity and good deeds than all the others combined.

  2. Bart says:

    I feel your logic is seriously flawed. The key point being discussed is NOT how FAST we get our news, but how ACCURATE and balanced that news is! And your assumptions about the supposed correlation between the number of followers of FN and CNN on Twitter, and whether they are conservative or liberal is ludicrous!..but it IS typical of the kind of analysis we see all to often in the news, particularly by liberals…: superficial and totally unsubstantiated! The numbers maybe correct, but the causation link with conservative and liberal tendencies to adopt technology is totally speculative and unsubstantiated. The common flaw in deceptive claims….a speck of fact linked with complete speculation or superficial interpretation! There is a distinct difference between the ways things really ARE and the way we hope or assume they are!

  3. Joe K says:

    The saddest thing about this comment feed is that with all the “intelligible” bickering going on between the two hard-line party siders, NO ONE gets what the heck is going on here.

    MSM and Cable are a dying media – so it figures that Fox News, something that is comforting to very conservative types who are late stage adopters, performs 3 times as well as CNN on mainstream media.

    However, look at the other side. Most independently-minded voters (myself included who pick on issues, not on party lines like a flock of sheep) and more liberal types tend to get their news from more Real Time media sources than even dinosaur cable news. Can you believe there is a better way to get the news you need, right when you need it (GASP)?

    Most people under 40 didn’t have to read on to see that I was talking about twitter/reddit/etc. for news sources.

    Surprisingly enough, the twitter following for CNN is over 11 million, where as Fox news is just over 3.5 million, which is not surprising either as fewer conservative and more moderate/liberal minds tend to be adopters on more cutting edge forms of media.

    Either way, I don’t get my news from either FNC, CNN, or MSNBC, since I prefer being selectively notified immediately of need-to-know information rather than being plastered by ideologically-rooted ratings garble.

    P.S. – I wonder if there’s anyone reading this feed who’s also waiting until 5 am to get their news delivered to their doorstep, lol :)

    • Scott Hawke says:

      So the free Obamaphone thing is working real well for you. Since I have to work for a living and watched my take home income drop over $1000 a month this past year due to Demoncrap policies (I am well below the no new tax for under $250K promise), I still have the same cell phone I got 4 years ago so I am unable to enjoy the new technology, if I was interested in doing so.

      • No such thing as an Obamaphone. “Lifeline” service started under Reagan when the phone industry was deregulated in the 1980s, so that the very poor could have a basic black rotary dial phone for about $5 a month, with the difference paid for by the phone and long distance companies, indirectly by the customers, of course, but never by taxpayers. By 2004 cell phones were offered — it was cheaper for the phone companies to supply the poor with a cell phone — the very cheap phones that Tracfone sells for $10, and supply 100 voice minutes, no text, no internet — than to maintain a wired phone line. When Obama was running in 2008, one of the many anti-Obama hoax chain letter emails stated that Obama was giving poor blacks a free cell phone to gain their votes. This was reported as fact by Fox News and talk radio, but this was just another application of the GOP Southern Strategy used since 1968 to gain the votes of older uneducated whites, mostly in the south, by convincing them that the Democrats take money from working white people so blacks can have better stuff for free. Thus Reagan’s story of a “welfare queen” in Chicago (or course) who is on welfare (or course) has 10 kids and no husband (of course) and drives a Cadillac (of course) a carefully crafted story to make white people furious — except the whole story was made up to create white resentment . Just like the Obamaphone story is made up. And Fox News and talk radio repeated this story until their audience’s brains think a lie is the truth and the truth is lie. And as long as the rage and fear can be ramped up enough to keep them voting Republican they don’t care they have so screwed up the minds of their audience that when a normal person talks to them, — you think they are playing “opposite day” They will tell you — and believe it — that Obama has raised taxes, the bank and auto bailouts are not paid back and never will be, the budget deficit is higher, more illegal aliens are coming in, fewer are being deported, the stock market is down, unemployment is up, foreign countries dislike us more, there is widespread voter fraud, American oil production is way down, Obama takes many more days of vacation than Bush,,,(the correct answers for all of those things are the opposite.) And 7 peer reviewed studies since 1996 where people who mostly watch Fox News get more basic questions like that WRONG than people who watch no news at all , more wrong that just randomly guessing which on average gets you right on 50% of the questions) Fox News by definition is a DISINFORMATION SOURCE . And the cheers that they are top rated on cable because they tell the truth, whereas everything in the New York Times or Snopes is a lie — is proof of how dangerously effective they have been.

  4. karll says:

    If FOX would stop trying to be like “Good Mourning America” with silly fluff pieces and go 100% far right Conservative it’s ratings would skyrocket. Stop wasting time on the same tripe the other networks are spewing. Gee, there’s a bomb scare somewhere? Why does Fox have to spend a whole hour staring at the outside of a building like the other 19 news channels? Take some of that time to put on a pro-2nd amendment piece. Spend more time mocking the absolute bias of the other news shows. Spend a LOT more time reporting the truth that 0 is a deceitful fraud. Attack Nancy, harry, et al for the sc_mbags they are!

  5. Richard says:

    Only object news I see out there is Russia Today and Aljazeera. Both on my Dish subscription.

  6. Jodi Rock says:

    It’s because FOX comes standard with cable and so does CNN.

    Quantity is not quality.

    • Rich says:

      People are free to choose what they want to watch….free market. If more people like, connect and identify with the “product” that Fox offers compared to their competition, then good for Fox.

      But, I guess YOUR assertion is that, of ALL of the cable news channels that are included in a “basic cable package” (which includes ALL of the ones mentioned in the article), the reason more people watch Fox than all of the rest combined is because they are unable to grasp the value of the other channel’s obvious intelectual superiority??

  7. Bull57 says:

    I turned cable / TV news off the night of the 2012 election and have looked back. It’s not news, it’s noise!

  8. Sam says:

    Fox News: lively diverse points of view. Big ratings.

    CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc: one shared fascist point of view. Small ratings.

    Therefore: most viewers are pro-choice and want, and can handle, diversity.

    OR…maybe they’re just disgusted by tampon earrings, defecating in Sarah Palin’s mouth, false editing Zimmerman 911 tape, arrogant pissant commentators, insulting working class middle America, racially advocating and celebrating astoundingly incompetent unqualified adolescent president, etc. etc. etc.

  9. Linda says:

    Fox News always Backing up what they are saying! A1 Team in my Books! :) Keep up the honest truth about the News and theTruths will always shine. ;) God bless you!

  10. Linda says:

    I Love ♥ Fox News♥

  11. June says:


  12. Bart says:

    To many folks the popularity of FOX News is no surprise or mystery. The interpretation of that data is up to each individual. Personally I am curious as to what, specifically, those liberals responding here like about the current path our country is on….not the ideology, but the specific things that they think are going well and are being implemented well! For example. the CONCEPT of healthcare for everyone is obviously a good one, but the details of how it will happen…including who will pay for it, who will administer it, what will be the impact on our economy, etc. THAT is the problem with liberalism. It is about concepts without considerations for the details and consequences of trying to implement it. Liberals, including those who vent their vitriol here, have the severe disadvantage of the fact that neither facts nor history support the likely success of any of their concepts. Socialism and redistribution of wealth have NEVER been successful…anywhere, anytime! Another example…the very pols who claim to support bigger government, higher taxes, etc. are (literally without exception) guilty of using every loophole and deception to avoid paying their fair taxes. I use Kerry and Geithner as just two examples.

    Biggest fact of all….the politicians from BOTH parties have one thing as their biggest priority…their RE-ELECTION!. Their pretense of being champions of the average citizen is a complete SCAM!

  13. Jerry572 says:

    Jake Tapper is a good impartial reporter. If increasing its ratings was more important to CNN execs than pushing ideology, they should put Jake in prime time

  14. Robyn says:

    Couldn’t pay me to watch Faux News!

    • Jerry572 says:

      O.K. so you don’t like Fox. Are you open minded to watching or reading anything that doesn’t mirror your beliefs?

      • JohnR69 says:

        Fox ‘news’ is horseshit.

      • Bart Frechem says:

        JohnR69:   It is always curious  to me how most liberals engaging in a debate or disagreement rarely, if ever, debate facts and specifics.  They are usually left with demonization, finger-pointing, vulgarity, or the tired, lame old baloney about “Yeah…well…your guy did it too!  OR   “Yeah, you guys are idiots!”   I would ask…what, exactly, is it about the direction this country is heading that you think is going well?   Please don’t generalize about things like “Well, isn’t healthcare for everybody a good thing?  How can conservatives be against that?”   This is a favorite failing of liberals…over-simplifying complex issues!   The problem is NOT in the general concept…it is in the details…such as, how to pay for it, who will administer it?  What will be the impact on the economy  What will be the impact on the doctors?   The government has NOT shown  the ability to do ANYTHING well, or cost-effectively!  They couldn’t even run “Cash-for-clunkers” well!   They have already shown they are not even up to building a website, let alone run something that represents 16% of the economy!

        So…rather than use vulgarity ( a sign of ignorance, or of an inability to  debate intelligently), I ask…what SPECIFICALLY is going well?   Honestly, when you give ignorant responses such as “Fox News is horse___!” you only lend support to those  who question the ability of liberals  to debate intelligently!   I guess that is because you do not have ANY factual evidence or examples from history that your liberal ideals have EVER worked anywhere…at anytime!

        So…continue to dream about ideology and what will never be successful…and be grateful that others (NOT including the politicians  from either party) are trying to maintain a country in which you have the freedom to do so.

        In the meantime I challenge you to debate and discuss these important issues with facts and specifics…NOT with inane ignorance.

        “Peace is the deliberate adjustment of my life to the will of God.”

  15. xfiler93 says:

    No surprise. The MSM is old and so 20th century. The new media and radio have broken their hold on the news. Forever.

  16. walter12 says:

    First, the Fox News people are intelligent and well read. Secondly, they are not stooges and lapdogs of this Demon Obama. And thirdly, Fox News is not part of the arch leftist main stream media and their constant lies.

  17. Steve says:

    Do you think using all caps makes the nonsense you write more legitimate?

  18. W says:

    You do realize that CNN HQ is located within Atlanta, right?

  19. Gary says:

    Lowest common denominator broadcasting always wins. Honey Boo Boo is popular too! Same demographic. Says nothing about quality. Timex sells more watches than Rolex so is it a better watch?

    • Phantom II says:

      Ridiculous comparison. Timex costs a fraction of Rolex so of course they sell more. If their costs were equal, which would sell more? Well Fox News and MSNBC and CNN all cost the same to view – and Fox sells more. Nuff said.

      • Bart Frechem says:

        Phantom II:  Fox News is popular because people realize that the path laid out by liberals over the past 5 years is NOT WORKING!   The government can’t even build a website, let alone have the ability to run something that controls 16% of the economy!   But even more importantly, they realize they have been lied to…over, and over, and over.   If you, personally, are clinging to the mirage of “Change you can  believe in”, have at it!   But many people have discovered that that is as big a lie as the responses on the IRS sandal, Fast-and-Furious, Benghazi, etc.etc.    Change is absolutely needed, and neither party seems to have the motivation to do anything but work on getting re-elected.    They welcome the rancor and name-calling between party members that distracts us from their collective deceit and self-serving manipulation of the truth.   Many thought Obama was the real deal….it is disappointing that he has been unwilling  and unable to keep virtually any of his promises.   But I hope those who championed the concept of a real change in the nature of our government will do a better job of selecting their knight in shining armor.   “Peace is the deliberate adjustment of my life to the will of God.”

  20. Chris Long says:

    Simple formula at Fox and it works well — cover the stories the MSM suppress and leave out the spin.

  21. Justin Black says:

    Yet Obama gets re-elected. Something doesn’t add up.

    • AK says:

      I’m really not into those conspiracy theories, but — by extensively reading pre-election nationwide polls, television news ratings for months, etc. – Obama would have been hard-pressed to win the last election. And somehow he won by a good margin. Yeah, exactly – something doesn’t add up.

      • Bart Frechem says:

        Yes.  Several things disappointing about the last election and our current state of politics.   1.)  If Obama had been truthful about what was known about the roll out of Obamacare he may have taken a significant hit at the polls.  2.)  The media is complicit in allowing Obama’s duplicity, lack of transparency, and scandals to be trivialized or ignored completely.  3.)  The Republican party can’t come up with a candidate with more appeal.  4.)  The “establishment” GOP is not significantly different than the Dems.  They don’t really want to improve things, they just want the power.   They are cannibalizing their own by demeaning true conservatives and being critical of the Tea Partiers in their own party.   The GOP does not currently represent true conservative  values, and has lost its own “brand” and  identity.

        In the end, we have only ourselves to blame for the state of the country.   Too many people are ‘single issue’ voters, or are accepting the recognizable erosion of the constitutional principles as long as the deception and distortion seems to favor them, individually.   As Pogo once said…”we have met the enemy, and he  is us!”

        The popularity of FOX news provides some optimism if it reflects increased awareness of how the pols are using and abusing their power.

          “Peace is the deliberate adjustment of my life to the will of God.”

    • Antonia says:

      Only in swing states where he stole the vote…via SCTYL and no state where ID is required to vote did Obama win

      • Steve says:

        What does land mass have to do with voting? Ballots are cast by people. More people voted for Obama

      • Antonia says:

        Number of States won by: Obama: 19 Romney: 29
        Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 Romney: 2,427,000
        Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million Romney: 143 million
        Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
        Obama: 13.2 Romney: 2.1

  22. typeviic1 says:

    They get their ratings from old people, plus all republicans.

  23. Ken Dreger says:

    Can you please turn off your Caps, We understand you are upset, we get that…….Respectfully….

  24. Dan says:

    We may have opinions on mainstream media but prove it to yourself. Go to CNN’s website for example and do a search for ‘jobless” or ‘unemployment’. As of 12/17 3:21pm eastern time there are exactly two current articles on the subject and guess what, everything is great, according to the article. EVERY other article is about jobless benefits. If that doesn’t scream bias then nothing will convince you. Good luck.

  25. Vickie says:

    I’ve been wondering why did president Obama leave and go to the union to give a speech instead of being at the White House at the budget hearing. The day the lady tried to rush the White House and was shot . President Obama I think he knew she was coming. I was wondering about the relationship between him, her, and the baby, was it his?

  26. Atlasobjectivist says:

    I agree, but I make it a point to complain to management wherever this takes place. Even at the Rock and Roll McDonalds in downtown Chicago, it’s totally unacceptable.

  27. Cynthia says:

    Perhaps even the low information voter is waking up to the realization that not only ObaMoa but the the MSM has been lying to them too. The Machiavellian M.O. of the left has wrought all manner of misery upon the nation. A pox on the lot of them… Kudos to Fox

  28. Louis E. Klar says:

    The downturn has nothing to do with programming. it is apathy ,disinterest, complacency, largely brought on by the lack of action or effectiveness of the so called more conservative segment of the Federal Government Establishment. Through Fox and other like media we the people have attempted to communicate with the government and encourage them to act in a forward moving responsible manner. Ladies and gentlemen. It did not happen. thereby my American constituents have gone into partial withdrawal. we will need a new spark before the summer of 2014 or our conservative news brothers will also die in reflection of the death of our nation.

  29. Bill says:

    I’ve watched Fox for years because of Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw. The NBC,ABC and CBS news people couldn’t be objective and CNN on cable was almost as bad. That being said you cannot believe everything FOX puts out either.

  30. Scottymac42 says:

    The people have spoken. Fox News smoked all the left wing propaganda bloviators. That just irritates the living sh*t out of liberals. I love it

  31. DW says:

    I can’t wait to start reading that FoxNews is beating ABC, NBC (perhaps it already is in this instance) and CBS in the ratings.

  32. Sheryl says:

    I think Meagan & Martha share outfits. I’ve seen them both wear this same red dress. Not only is FOX the best, it’s frugal!

  33. Dave Hickman says:

    One of my favorite moments on Fox was Judge Napolitano and Fox Business, but what happened to him? The general consensus is that his defense of the Constitution and ridicule of “big Government” was offensive to many Government officials and gov. agencies. He spoke the truth in all instances, but you can’t get away with telling the truth on mainstream news.

  34. Paul Banta says:

    Oh yea, you Left wing nut jobs should be really proud of CNN. Here are some examples of why your so proud and stand by them:

  35. Emery says:

    Yes NeoCon propaganda is real popular among the right wing brainwashed masses……. “We report and you decide based on what we report” The left wing brainwashed massed have all the other channels but it only takes one to brainwash the right effectively.

  36. Paul Banta says:

    Oh yea, you Left wing nut jobs should be really proud of MSNBC:

  37. EyesOpen says:

    There seems to be a constant level of anger that radiates from liberal commentators, as well as a sense of narcissism- an attitude of “I can’t believe anyone questions my opinion or belief” that makes viewers feels like they’re being patronized or that they belong to a lower class or less intelligent group of people. In short, viewers of channels like MSNBC are talked down to. Viewers don’t like it when people talk to them with a tone of “what are you stupid? You must be stupid.”

  38. Hw00d says:

    These faux “News” channels are rapidly dying, I think AmeriKa is finally waking up to the fact that this dinosaur media has lied to US so much and ppl are looking for real truth news sources now….its AWESOME!!!
    www . republicbroadcasting . org
    “Because YOU CAN handle the Truth!”

  39. Tim says:

    I think its because Fox News is the only news network that reports the news in ways that its target audience wants to hear it. The people that watch Fox News do so because they are told what they want to hear, instead of the real facts. They know how to get ratings, and it is working for them. Simple as that.

    • Sam says:

      Almost got it…just cut the 2nd sentence, substitute “Americans” for “its target audience”…way to go!

    • Guy Luetgert says:

      Thats funny!!! How do you know what “REAL FACTS” are? LOL!
      Kind of like reading the Bible my way is the only way to read the Bible. LOL!
      I bet you get your “real facts” from Jon Stewart or Bill Maher. Give me a break. Everything is distorted no matter who you watch. At least recognize that as a “real fact”.

  40. Mike says:

    Like Air America, no one wants to listen to a bunch of hateful liberal losers.

  41. scottwolf14 says:

    A pyrrhic victory, nothing more for FOX news.

    Primetime viewer ship for FOX is down 13% from 2012, with the key 25-54 demographic down 30%.None of the MSM report the news.Period.They promote their agenda and disseminate state sponsored propaganda. The decline in overall viewer ship is a good thing as it demonstrates the ability of some people to unplug from the matrix and engage in critical thought not based on some outdated liberal/conservative/GOP/democrat view of what the these network shills want the world to be. The normalcy bias for the rest of you sheep will be your undoing, just wait and see.

  42. Gary Belcher says:

    Let’s see……1.7 million viewers out of 330 million Americans–that’s 1/2 of 1%. Whoopee-do.

    • Guy Luetgert says:

      Just shows how most Americans could careless about this country and the direction it takes. The people get the government they deserve?
      Well here ya go! I give you the most narcissistic President we have ever had. The community organizer Obama!!!

    • Mike Moore says:

      Have you ever considered how many channels are out there to tune into? Yeah, I thought so!

    • Rich says:

      …yet their share of the viewers is greater than the 2nd place, 3rd place and 4th place viewership COMBINED!!!

      You also fail to mention that nowhere near 330 million Americans have access to cable – thus are unable to watch.

    • Bart says:

      Interesting that you trivialize and mock these numbers. I’m just guessing, but I bet if they were in your favor you would have a different take.

  43. Caley McGuire says:

    Basic cable hucksterism of fear and faux outrage to appease the older demographic is alive and well. In other news, Ford sells more cars than Mercedes and American Idol is the best show on television.

    • Rich says:

      Apparently, Caley did not take the time to even browse the article. According to the ratings, Fox won handily in “younger” demographic – not just the “older demographic”…

      …but don’t let facts get in the way of your preconceived notions or what your masters tell you to think….

  44. Paladin says:

    Liberal media are partisan garbage… sorry for those who accept their pepsid regurgitation…

  45. Sandy says:

    Fox is entertainment! Why would people watch “news” on any channel if they know there is folly & Intrigue, much of it distorted- which is what the masses want. Americans love car crashes, ice hockey battles, & people crashing on ski slopes, etc.- of course they watch Faux!

    • Rich says:

      Awwww….Sandy ANGRY!!!

      Sorry – with the likes of lunatic Ed Schultz, the smug and condescending Rachel Maddow, whack-job Martin Bashir, “father of the year” Alec Baldwin, the objective Nancy Grace, etc…..I can’t help but feel that the “people who love car crashes and entertainment” and “folly and intrigue” instead of REAL NEWS are the ones watching MSNBC and HLN.

  46. Ginny says:

    “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story”

  47. John says:

    No wonder, People are sick and tired of the total Obama news being foisted upon us by these Communist based media. At least Fox is telling the news in a more accurate view. Go boys.

  48. tericrosschetwood says:

    Yet Media Matters has declared victory and proclaimed Fox News to be dead, by their hand. Variety must be lying, because we know MM would NEVER lie.


  49. Why in the world would anyone want to look an humdrum Megan Kelly when they can feast their eyes on the gorgeous Rachel Maddow?

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