MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” topped Fox News stalwart “The O’Reilly Factor” in the key demo Wednesday night as Fox host Bill O’Reilly is still dealing with fallout from recent revelations of multiple sexual harassment claims.
Maddow drew 607,000 viewers in the key adults 25-54 demographic, compared to 561,000 for O’Reilly, according to Nielsen data. O’Reilly nevertheless easily outpaced Maddow in total viewers, drawing in 3.6 million to her 2.6 million for the night. It should be noted, however, that Maddow airs at 9 p.m. while O’Reilly airs at 8 p.m.
Maddow has seen a big surge in her ratings of late, and has bested Fox News in several recent matchups. For the week of March 27, “The Rachel Maddow Show” was the number-one show in the demo among all cable news, averaging 624,000 viewers in the demo. That was the third straight week that the MSNBC show has overtaken “The O’Reilly Factor” in the demo. For the week of March 27, however, Maddow aired five nights, while O’Reilly aired only Monday through Thursday, with Friday being a special edition of his program. In addition, Fox News was again number one in total viewers in primetime with 2.3 million for the week compared to 1.7 million for MSNBC.
Approximately 3.8 million people tuned in to Tuesday night’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” an increase of 20% from the same day’s telecast last week, despite a very public backlash to a Saturday New York Times report that five women had received payments coming to about $13 million in exchange for agreeing not to pursue litigation or speak about accusations related to sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior by O’Reilly. O’Reilly in a statement said his fame had made him a target, but that no complaint about him had ever been made through Fox’s human-resources hotline.
A large number of advertisers have announced their decision to suspend their ties with “The O’Reilly Factor,” including Jenny Craig, GlaxoSmithKline, Mitsubishi Motors, BMW and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, who have all moved ads slated to run during “Factor” to other Fox News programs.