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Cable News Ratings: CNN Surges Again, MSNBC Keeps Sliding in First Quarter

CNN up double digits in total day with primetime growth, MSNBC down double digits across the board, Fox News grows its primetime demo in first quarter

2015’s first quarter ratings put a smile on CNN executive’s faces on Tuesday, as the network saw the most growth among cable news networks compared to the same quarter a year ago.

For Monday-Sunday, CNN was up 22 percent in total day viewers and 20 percent in the 25-54 demo during the day. In primetime, the network was up 7 percent in viewers and 11 percent in the demo.

CNN’s morning show “New Day” achieved a personal high, marking its highest-rated quarter since its debut in both total viewers and the demo while also beating MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in both measurements for the third straight quarter.

HLN’s “Morning Express” beat MJ in the demo for the fourth straight quarter; HLN also beat MSNBC for the fourth straight quarter in the total day demo.

Fox News, still far and away the number one cable news network, grew its primetime demo by 10 percent year-over-year, but was down in all other measurements: down three percent in total day viewers, seven percent in total day demo and four percent in primetime viewers.

In the larger cable landscape, Fox ranked fourth in total day and primetime viewership, behind ESPN, TBS and USA Network. The ranking is strong considering two of the networks that beat Fox had the advantage of NCAA March Madness.

For MSNBC, the quarter, which saw the cancellation of Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid‘s daytime programs, continued to produce losses. In total day, MSNBC was down 20 percent in viewers and 38 percent in the demo year-over-year. In primetime, the network lost 22 percent in viewers and 39 percent in the demo.

The performance was the lowest-rated quarter in total viewers since 2007’s fourth quarter and the worst in the demo since 2005’s second quarter.

A bright spot for the “Lean Forward” network: since taking over the 1pm-3pm eastern hour in early March, Thomas Roberts is up 7 percent in viewers and 22 percent in the demo compared to February, which saw low numbers from 1-3pm with Farrow and Reid.

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