MSNBC Edges CNN in Primetime

For the first time, cable news outlet MSNBC snuck past CNN in viewership.

Last Updated: March 31, 2009 @ 5:25 PM

For the first time, cable news outlet MSNBC snuck past CNN in weekday primetime viewership in March. According to Nielsen Media Research data released Tuesday, MSNBC attracted 1.14 million viewers while CNN had 1.11 million.

Lead by “The O’Reilly Factor,” Fox’s 8 p.m. partisan program, Fox News grabbed 2.2 million viewers. The longtime news rating leader is second only to the USA Network.

O’Reilly averages 3.4 million viewers each night and in March celebrated a milestone of 100 consecutive months as the most popular program on cable news.

MSNBC’s inroads into CNN ratings have been spearheaded by its two left-leaning hosts, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.