Fox News was tops among cable news networks in November for the 95th consecutive month, taking the top 13 programs in a month that saw every network drop year-over-year from the 2008 election surge.
In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.203 million total viewers (down 14% from November 2008) and 583,000 A25-54 viewers (down 14% from November 2008). But that's nothing compared to the drastic declines at MSNBC and CNN: MSNBC was down 53% in total viewers and 60% in the demo, while CNN fell 60% in total viewers and a whopping 71% in the demo. HLN's losses were not as severe, with the re-branded network down just 17% in total viewers and 23% in A25-54 viewers from November 2008, when it was CNN Headline News.
In total day, Fox News and HLN again suffered mild declines while CNN and MSNBC lost significant chunks of their audience. Fox News was down 4% in total viewers and 9% in the demo, and HLN was down 8% in total viewers and 5% in the demo. Meanwhile, MSNBC was down 49% in total viewers and 56% in the demo, and CNN was down 49% in total viewers and 63% in the demo.
Cable News Programs
Fox News took the top 13 programs in total viewers and the top 10 programs in the A25-54 demographic.
"The O'Reilly Factor" won the top slot with 3.669 million total viewers. "Glenn Beck" came in second (2.671 million total viewers); "Hannity" (2.639 million total viewers) and, interestingly, Fox News' two signature evening news programs — "Special Report with Bret Baier" (2.321 million total viewers), and "The Fox Report with Shepard Smith" (2.101 million total viewers) — rounded out the top five. MSNBC's "Countdown" was the top-rated non-Fox cable news program, averaging 1.067 million total viewers.
Several Fox News programs also stemmed the tide of massive year-over-year losses against Election 2008 coverage and actually increased their ratings in the demo. "O'Reilly" was up 12% while "Countdown" and "Campbell Brown" were both down 62% at 8PM, and "Hannity" was up 4% while "Larry King Live" was down 59% and "Rachel Maddow" was down 63% at 9PM. Earlier in the evening, "Special Report with Bret Baier" was up 5% and "The Fox Report with Shepard Smith" was flat. "Special Report" and "The O'Reilly Factor" actually had their best months of 2009 in both total viewers and the demo, and the "Fox Report" had its best month of 2009 in total viewers.
CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" had a particularly rough November, placing second in total viewers with 672,000 but crashing in the demographic. "AC 360" was down 70% over November 2008 in the A25-54 demographic, averaging 209,000 A25-54 and coming in behind repeats of MSNBC's "Countdown" and HLN's "Nancy Grace."
Cable Network Rankings
ESPN won the month in primetime on the strength of "Monday Night Football," but Fox News came in third behind USA. MSNBC placed 26th and CNN placed 27th.
In total day programming, Fox News placed 5th, behind Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, USA, and ESPN. CNN placed 26th, while MSNBC did not place in the top 30.