MSNBC’s opinionated primetime lineup has finally vaulted the also-ran cable news network over CNN, the channel that pioneered the format.
MSNBC is set to end March, the ratings period for which concludes Friday, with an average of 1.16 million primetime viewers, just slightly more than CNN’s 1.14 million viewers. Fox News, meanwhile, remains atop the cable news heap with an average of 2.73 million primetime viewers. This will be the first time CNN finishes third in the monthly weeknight ratings, the AP reports.
While Fox and MSNBC are up more than 20 per cent from March 2008, CNN’s primetime viewership is relatively flat, up only one per cent from the year before.
Sadly, CNN’s lowest-rated primetime program is one of our favourites: Campbell Brown’s 8 p.m. show, which is getting clobbered in the ratings by Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly. According to the AP, “Brown’s audience is smaller than any prime-time show on the three networks, and beneath Nancy Grace’s crime hour on Headline News.”
Fortunately, CNN’s U.S. president Jon Klein said that Brown’s show isn’t in any danger, which is good because replacing her while she’s on maternity leave, which she starts next week, would be pretty cruel.
Still, if you look at MSNBC’s actual lineup, it seems like Keith Olbermann’s the one really trouncing CNN. Rachel Maddow’s show is third in its timeslot at 9 p.m. and Olbermann is doing well with his show airing at both 8 and 10 p.m.
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