Fox News Channel’s revamped primetime lineup helped the network dominate October ratings — though MSNBC showed the strongest growth of the news networks compared to the previous quarter.
Fox took first place in total day and primetime for the month — not particularly surprising, since the network has held the top spot in both categories for 142 consecutive months. The network averaged 1,146,000 total viewers in total day for October, a 12 percent increase over the third quarter of 2013. Of those viewers, 234,000 were in the key 25-54 news demographic, a 10 percent increase.
Second-place MSNBC averaged 480,000 total viewers in total day for the month, a 28 percent jump over the previous quarter. In the demo, the network averaged 140,000 viewers — up 8 percent from the previous quarter.
CNN, taking third place, was the only network of the three to dip compared to the previous quarter, ticking down four percent in total viewers for an average 404,000 and dropping 10 percent in the demo to 122,000.
This month marked the first that Fox expanded its primetime from 7 to 11 p.m., with benefits reflected in the numbers. The network averaged 2,153,000 total viewers in the time period, a 22 percent boost from the previous quarter, with 373,000 in the demo, a 20 percent jump. In the same time period, MSNBC, again in second place, surged 59 percent in total viewers for an average 976,000 and 38 percent in the demo with an average 237,000.
CNN showed modest growth versus the third quarter of the year, growing 7 percent in total viewers for an average 569,000 and 1 percent in the demo for 171,000.
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In individual shows, the recently launched “The Kelly File” with Megyn Kelly got off to a very strong start in its first month, becoming the number two cable news program in total viewers (with an average 2,223,000) and in the demo, with 383,000. That put it behind only “The O’Reilly Factor,” which averaged 2,841,000 total viewers and 458,000 in the demo.
Though CNN had its ups and downs compared to the previous quarter, the network did claim some bragging rights for the past month. Compared to a year ago, the network’s weekday programs were up across the board, versus a downward trend for MSNBC and Fox News. The recently launched morning show “New Day” was up 15 percent in total viewers compared to the network’s 6 to 9 a.m. average the previous October with 313,000. In the 25-54 demo, “New Day” was up a modest 2 percent for an average 111,000. (On the downside for “New Day,” the show’s October average in the demo was down 30 percent compared to the month of May, just prior to the show’s launch.)
The network’s other new offering, “Crossfire” at 6:30, was up 11 percent in total viewers and 17 percent in the demo compared to CNN’s programming in the timeslot the previous October, averaging 546,000 and 186,000, respectively.
In the network’s primetime lineup, “Anderson Cooper 360” has shown the strongest growth versus a year ago, climbing 27 percent in total viewers (707.000) versus a year ago and 19 percent in the demo for an average 211,000.