CNN flops in February as Fox News surges

FNC only cable news network to see gains in primetime

CNN posted steep viewer losses during the month of February, slipping 21% in primetime and 16% overall, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox News beat all other cable news outlets combined in February, extending its streak to six straight months.

FNC averaged 1.57 million viewers in primetime, up 18% from the same period last year, while CNN fell 21% to 637,000 viewers from the same time period.

February marked what has been a rocky three months for new CNN U.S. prexy Jonathan Klein, who came to the network hoping to improve CNN’s primetime performance, where it has been most hurt by a strong FNC lineup built around tentpole “The O’Reilly Factor.”

CNN endured a thrashing by Fox during the State of the Union Address, and even lost in the key 25-54 demographic to third-place MSNBC during the speech.

Primetime tumble

CNN primetime stalwarts “Larry King Live,” “Wolf Blitzer Reports,” “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” “Paula Zahn Now” and “Newsnight With Aaron Brown” all suffered double-digit declines, while “Anderson Cooper 360” was up slightly, by 2%.

Klein replaced the executive producer of “Aaron Brown” in a bid to make the show more competitive against “On the Record With Greta Van Susteren,” which was up 24% for the month.

Joyous over CNN’s February perf, Fox staffers began referring to the CNN prexy as “Jon De-cline.”

FNC had primetime increases across the board, led by Van Susteren at 10 p.m., “Hannity & Colmes” up 7%, and “The O’Reilly Factor,” cable news’ most-watched program with 2.4 million viewers, up 7%.

MSNBC declined 15% overall and 14% in primetime, while financial news channel CNBC declined 23% overall and 42% in primetime.