Fox News Hits Ratings Highs, MSNBC Sputters in Busy Week

Greta Van Susteren, Bill O'Reilly, Megyn

A busy week in news was a good one for Fox News Channel, which logged its second highest-rated frame of the year, but a weak one for MSNBC, which found itself deep in third place.

FNC, with several shows hitting 2014 highs, won in adults 25-54 and total viewers on both a primetime and total-day basis for Monday through Friday of last week. Tune-in was above average across the news board due to coverage of the protests in Ferguson and the murder of James Foley.

Looking at the Nielsen numbers, Fox News averaged 443,000 adults 25-54 in primetime to finish ahead of CNN (361,000) in the key news demo, with both networks more than doubling the tally of MSNBC (179,000). CNN had narrowly won in the demo on Monday and Tuesday, before Fox News asserted itself Wednesday through Friday.

In total-day numbers, FNC averaged 272,000, to 241,000 for CNN and just 106,000 for MSNBC.

The only week to rate higher for Fox News this year was the State of the Union frame in January.

As usual, it was no contest in total viewers, with Fox News (2.25 million in primetime, 1.26 million total-day) beating the combined tune-in of CNN (901,000 in primetime, 690,000 in total-day) and MSNBC (737,000 in primetime, 402,000 in total-day).

Among the highlights for Fox News was “The Kelly File” drawing its largest weekly demo audience of the calendar year (455,000), while “Hannity” had its most-watched week of the year (1.84 million) and its highest-rated demo performance to date in the 10 o’clock hour (421,000).  Daytime shows “Outnumbered” and “Happening Now” also hit some 2014 highs.


Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 260

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. robert l. stowers says:

    Fair and balanced? Well-paid Mark Furhman coming on everyday as if he has seen the police report and this is the way the murder occurred? Fox has not seen the actual report and is parroting the words of the police chief who may be proved to be a liar.

  2. Krosenontake says:

    I watch FOX anytime I sit down in front of a TV. I am quite certain that I am far better informed on most current issues than people who get their info from Jon Stewart, Colbert, NBC, CNN and others. If you are OK with being told what they want you to know…just stick with the low rated programing. Issues that are critical to our republic are discussed at great length on FOX. Most of the other news programs wont even bring them up. WHY?

  3. alisha smith says:


    • Renno says:

      Alisha, apparently you cant read. you are obviously delusional as all. keep up the good work… people like you are killing msnbc.

  4. mike says:

    With all that’s going on Rachel Maddow was engrossed in a GOP “scandel” last night of buying votes ….really? Lois Lerner, Russia, IRS, ISIS, Ferguson, Syria, Gaza….we get GOP faux scandel.


  5. mike says:

    As a independant I find MSNBC unwatchable…I turn on the Rev AL and I have no clue what world he lives in. How NBC can continue down this path is beyond me.

  6. Paddy Sundaram says:

    Absolutely. FNC is a monopoly for right wing audience but the so called mainstream media has to split the the regular audience. Thus there is a scops for another right wing channel that can give run for the money for FNC. This is not a spin but a comment on reality.

  7. John Wilcox says:

    Most of the idiots posting here have no mathematical aptitude. Fox “news” is the ONLY conservative outlet. They get ALL the wingnuts and curiosity seekers. They cornered the market. The so-called mainstream media, like NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, HN, etc, all split the vast majority of the audience, which by the way, AREN’T watching Fox. Get a clue. That’s right: Far more people watch the others collectively than watch Fox.

  8. labman57 says:

    If quality programming translated directly into ratings, PBS would be the most popular network on television.

  9. Bobw66554322 says:

    The more the far left wails and gnashes their teeth about “Faux News”, the fewer viewers MSNBC and CNN have. This is totally illogical until you are willing to accept the fact that perhaps, just perhaps, that the watching public believes Fox News is providing the most responsible coverage.

    What an absolutely horrifying and terrifying thought that must be to the hard core left.

  10. James Foley was killed, but it has not been determined if it was murder or a justifiable killing. Looking more and more like a justifiable killing.

  11. Great Caesar's Ghost says:

    To Chris Matthews (MSNBC): Which way is the “leg tingle” travelling this week, Chrissy?

  12. Raconteur says:

    The left-of-center mainstream media created the demand for Fox News and are principally responsible for its spectacular success and ongoing high ratings.

    So…why isn’t the left proud of the stunning success of Fox News?

    Why do they hate and fear their most impressive creation?

  13. You are never going to get CNN and MSNBC to change their format. These are far left wing kooks who live in a vacuum. They actually believe that most of the country thinks as they do. I mean, look at the line up of the MSNBC: The alcoholic Ed Shultz; the criminal and race baiter Al Sharpton; the unhinged Lawrence O’Donnell; Chris Mathews who said bye bye to reason and good sense a long time ago and, Rachel Maddow, who is actually fairly intelligent but a liberal to the core. Obviously, ratings mean nothing to them. How could anybody hire an Al Sharpton and care about ratings. That man could not pass a background check for any private sector job.

    Also, did anyone hear Roger Ailes a few months back say that he would like to poach Rachel Maddow and bringer to Fox.

  14. Ralph D. Lynch says:

    The really scary thing here is these numbers represent less than 1% of Americans; the rest don’t even tune in, left or right. The O’Reilly Factor’s Jesse Watters sojourns to social events around the country and interviews folks; it is stunning how many deeply impassioned people have no clue, for example, who Joe Biden or John Kerry are, but they sure love Obama nonetheless. We have citizenship tests for hopeful immigrants, but voters need know nothing, or less. Scary.

  15. BS. Davis says:

    How is it that CNN and MSNBC ignore ratings and go for what the ideology of management – Jeff Bewkes and John K Martin for CNN and Phillip Griffin for MSNBC.

    Aren’t these public companies or subsidiaries of public companies and have to act in the interests of shareholders and not for the personal ideology of management?

    Can’t the SEC go after CNN and MSNBC management for wasting corporate assets?

    Or couldn’t someone buy a few shares of the companies that own CNN and MSNBC and blast them at the shareholder meeting?

    Why would anyone rather lose money than change the ideology of a news network?

    Why should CNN and MSNBC management prefer to sacrifice making money just so that the network can reflect the personal liberal view of management –

    in other words, since management wants to hold up their head at cocktail parties the company loses money –

    isn’t there a problem here?

    • sirselby says:

      Scary indeed. When Watters did his history knowledge thing with young people at the beach on spring break, many of them college students, I thought it must be a skit for SNL. I mean most didn’t know what country we fought for our independence?

  16. sluggo says:

    People are tired of the same old failed Liberal views and policies – they see what is happening to the country, socially, culturally and economically under Obama and Reid and Holder and they do not like it.

  17. Bob says:

    O course FOX is only for people who don’t like left-wing propaganda.

  18. AZ Schumi says:

    He USED to be a right leaning radio guy but was so terrible he couldn’t hold down a job.
    Now he’s a USEFUL IDIOT at MSNBC and Jerry Springer’s the audience for the sake of ratings (the handful that watch the Special Ed Show).

  19. BS. Davis says:

    How is it that CNN hasn’t realized that the only slot left open is “open conservative”? There just isn’t room for two liberal networks – CNN is doomed to failure –

    How is it that no one has imitated Fox and tried for conservatives? Why isn’t reaching 40% of the country an attractive proposition?

  20. FOX ranks high in the news ratings but only among people who actually watch or even care about news or commentary. Too bad that is a very low percentage of voting Americans. I watch FOX but have to admit that after I hear O’Reilly interrupt someone for the third time with his signature “OK, let me stop you there” I grab the remote to see what’s going on with the Pawn Stars.

  21. bluesky says:

    People are growing tired of having their intelligence insulted?

  22. Marty C. says:

    The Reverend Al Sharpton never seems to have kind words for those who have a different point of view. He looks more like a thug than a reverend…MSNBC and Sharpton are of the same cloth….

    • azschumi says:

      Just WHAT is he a Reverend of besides the Almighty Dollar?

      What church does he administrate and preach at every Sunday?

  23. chester says:

    The concept of tv was to draw the people in, not push them away. After years of trying to chase Fox News and losing viewers rapidly you would think if someone had a brain (which they don’t) clean house get rid of all the prime time clowns and start reporting the facts. I was a use to watch MSNBC but when they started bashing Sarah Palin ( I was not a fan of hers mind you) day after day after day it was enough. Turned to Fox and never looked back.
    They need to clean it up, no one wants to hear Whitey is a racist, Cops gun for blacks anymore over and over again. Yeah, yeah we get it. How could those in charge not want to change their broadcasting to get more advertisers – because I have news for the advertisers- I have no clue who you are

  24. Bob says:

    Fox News…”Where old people go to hear their farts echo”

  25. NeoConVet says:

    As long as the “other” so called news sources refuse to acknowledge that truth and balance will always prevail, then the bottom feeders will remain on the bottom.

  26. adrianvance says:

    You can trust Fox and not anyone else. They are the exception and they rule.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” and arm yourself with the right ideas.

  27. Scott says:

    That’s what happens when you do 2 things, #1 report the news not what matchs your politics instead of the truth. #2 put actual intellegent people on the shows rather than political hacks that do nothing but march in line with the liberal of the month club

  28. Yeah, MsDNC just keep toe-ing that liberal line.

  29. bob says:

    I don’t agree with 95% of the fox news agenda but I do watch it just to get angry at it. How many articles are written every day about “Oh man, look what O’reilly said last night”. Also, check out the cable ratings, all these shows lose to re-runs of seinfeld, family guy, golden girls. No one is watching the news.

  30. Ramrod says:

    It’s quite obvious that the truth sells, and Obama worship doesn’t!

  31. Ken Valley says:

    Gee, Fox won again? Predictable? Yes! Maybe fair and balanced news does have appeal to a larger audience? Maybe the days of liberal biased news are numbered? Probably not. As long as they get the infusion of cash from left-wing communists like Tom Steyer and George Soros, they’ll continue to spew propaganda and lies, on behalf of the DemoRATS and left-wing communist liberals! Congrats Fox and Roger Ailes! Well Done!

  32. mauloa says:

    It’s obvious there is a lot of “closet Liberals” watching FOX News.

  33. Patrick White says:

    MSNBC, CNN, CBS, etc, either have the dumbest executives and I don’t believe they are, instead, I think they’re in cahoots with Fox News. What have we always been told about this business? That ratings rule what the programming will be. Every year Fox News leads the ratings by big margins, its not even close. Why don’t these other outlets change their left-wing, ultra liberal programming to match Fox News’ brand of “conservatism?” Fox News gets to charge a lot more for their commercials, more profits! Do these left-wing, liberal outlets have an unlimited supply of money? What about their stockholders? Aren’t they angry? It appears to me, that viewers are being driven, like a herd of sheep, into the arms of Fox News brand of neo-conservatism. This is a false conservatism with roots in fascism. According to Fox News, it is patriotic to fight continuous wars, be the world’s policeman, have our nose in every country’s affairs. A PAX America, i.e. Roman Empire. Suggest to Fox News that because we are drowning in taxes, maybe we should pull back and mind our own business, they go absolutely nuts! Murdock and other super elites own these news outlets and its on purpose that the American people watch Fox to cheerlead how our military is used for the profits of the super banking elites.

    • Steve Broughton says:

      put down whatever it is you’re smoking and get a grip on life!

      • Sammie says:

        So I gather that you don’t speak to anyone in your town, you just isolate yourself from everyone, never help a neighbor or ask for help?
        That is what you are basically saying the USA should do.
        I’m sure that all the stations got together and plotted this whole scenario as you see it.
        Spending so much time alone leads to paranoia and wild fantasies.
        No man is an island.

      • j blume says:

        Thank you..You are the very reason they, Fox , are so viewed..

  34. Jes James says:

    Middle America finally gets it, elitist’s puppets on MSNBC are definitely not lookin out for them

  35. Julie Krohn says:

    Nice to know most people want the truth.

  36. Rick jacobs says:

    Here is the best part, I get CNN and MSNBC as part of my package. FOX News costs more money.

  37. NY Keith says:

    Sadly not, if you count the broadcast networks, the cable ones, the humor ‘news’ broadcasts it is clear the market for invective, blame, victimism, propaganda is still pretty strong.

  38. Bart Bright says:

    if it wasn’t for fox news, (it really doesn’t ,matter) would have nothing to publish.

  39. Steve P. In KY says:

    I love the liberal Fox haters, it destroys them that Fox is always Number 1

    • You see, it’s right wing haters like you who are destroying America. Why can’t you old, White men just DIE like you’re supposed to?

      • John says:

        Last time I checked, the Republicans are almost as Liberal as the Democrats; I don’t see hardly any Conservatives elected today. BTW, I’m black.

      • Ken Valley says:

        Talk about hypocrisy! Haters destroying America? Really? Maybe if you’d stop drinking the liberal kool-aid, you’d see the truth? Nah! Because liberal fleabagger like you only see propaganda, not the truth. Gee, the last time I checked, we have a Marxist liberal running (aka destroying) our country. Where’s the outrage? Are you so blind and stoopid to see reality? Probably!

  40. Steve P. In KY says:

    I love the liberal Fox haters, it destrys them that Fox is always Number 1

    • ralph martin says:

      Absolutely! It makes me a little happy whenever i see Fox dominate i just wish these other stations would get a freaking clue and REPORT the news not just the leftwing version of it. I wish they went after Obama with the fervor that they went after Bush.

  41. B Da Truth says:

    MSNBC an CNN and the rest of the network news media were falling over themselves trying to sell the lie of African American ‘gentle giant’ Michael Brown as the victim of evil White racist Police. The average American knows better and is sick of this nonstop racist nonsense and the biggest bigot of them all Eric Holder. Is it any wonder they turn off the networks trying to sell these lies.

  42. people love crazy says:

    I used to watch fox until shep made his comments about robin williams. Then I blocked them from my satellite. Watching fox is like watching a reality show. I just like listening to crazy. I also love to watch crazy defending crazy. Makes me laugh. Besides, most young voters get their news from the web. I would love to see the web stats on all the news groups though? Why havent those been relesed?

  43. Sam Blethecavitch says:

    I don’t know about you, but every time I listen to MSNBC, I leave knowing I’m a whole lot smarter than I thought I was…

  44. MaverickCoast says:

    FOX is the reasonable network that at least presents both sides of an issue! You may not agree with it, but at least they are honest about it!

  45. It seems fair and balanced works. With the clowns at MSNbc and CNN bias , unfair and untruthful does not. Maybe they should try being objective for a change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Get Some Fresh Air says:

    It’s Summer. People should be out doing something instead of sitting in front of a TV watching useless garbage.

  47. Chuck Town-SC says:

    I disagree. Ray is a pretty cool dude, even if he isn’t always strait with us.

  48. John Smith says:

    Hey MSNBC, think there’s anywhere near critical mass of Americans who agree with your far-left politics?

  49. Cleo50 says:

    Fox has the lightning in the bottle. They are willing to engage critical thinking. That’s a commodity other news services refuse to utilize.

  50. Perplexed says:

    The difference between cnn and msnbc has diminished significantly. The Ferguson incident seems to have pushed cnn closer to the left to the point that they have no credibility. I make myself watch it to get a more well rounded view but even I can’t see continuing that because of their blatant bias.

More TV News from Variety