In Slow News Week, Fox Posts Second Smallest Demo Crowd Since Before 9/11

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Following a stretch of newsie weeks with the missing Malaysian flight and the fiasco surrounding Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the May 12-18 frame was a lackluster one for all the cable news networks.

In total-day averages, Fox, CNN and MSNBC were all down about 20% week-to-week in the key news demo of adults 25-54, according to Nielsen.

Fox News continued to dominate in all categories and dayparts, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use some new younger viewers. Last week, Fox News Channel’s total-day audience among  adults 25-54 (174,000) was its smallest in more than 12 years for a non-holiday week.

(Since the week before the terrorist attacks in September 2001, the only frame in which Fox News attracted a smaller demo audience than last week was Christmas week 2012, when it drew 167,000.)

MSNBC, meanwhile, suffered through one of its lowest-rated weeks in recent years. Its 105,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo was just 5,000 above its low-water mark since 2007, according to Nielsen. The net’s lightest week in 2014 was 102,000 for a week in April.

CNN was the lowest-rated news net in the demo (96,000) but it didn’t flirt with weekly lows; it had drawn a smaller audience on six occasions in 2014.

Among all cable networks last week in total-day averages, Fox News ranked sixth in total viewers (909,000), while MSNBC was 30th (327,000) and CNN ran 34th (313,000).


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