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MSNBC Tops CNN in Full-Year Viewership for First Time Since 2012

Rachel Maddow’s channel also bests Anderson Cooper’s in weekday primetime’s key demo — something it hasn’t done since 2013

Cable news networks are having a better 2017 than you are — and MSNBC just wrapped up one claim that it’s particularly pleased to tout: Rachel Maddow’s network topped Anderson Cooper’s CNN in total day (6 a.m.-6 a.m.) Monday-Sunday total viewers for the first year since 2012.

Additionally, her weeknight primetime block (Maddow is the 9 o’clock hour that carries MSNBC’s 8 p.m.-11 p.m. day part) bested the other guys (“AC 360” is on at 9) for the first time since 2013 in the key adults 25-54 demographic.

Of course, the way we worded that means CNN still won the 24-hour total day time period among that advertiser-coveted age range — and executives over there argue they prefer that claim to overall eyeballs anyway. Plus, it’s not like that CNN isn’t having a record year itself. We also can’t forget about Fox News Channel,  which still has the biggest overall audience of any of them.

Some specific MSNBC highlights include Maddow’s 9 p.m. win in the key demo. She also beat CNN among total viewers for the eighth straight year. Lawrence O’Donnell at 10 and Brian Williams at 11 ate well off of her Nielsen numbers, with the former topping both the demo and total viewers and the latter maintaining only that overall audience lead.

“Morning Joe” celebrated its 10-year anniversary with another total-viewer victory over CNN’s “New Day” — its own eighth annual “W” in a row — though the two morning shows are neck-and-neck in the main demo. Again, this is where Fox News swoops in and reminds us that their audience is still way larger.

Here’s to 2018, people.