Huffpost Media

Fox News Wins January With Big Numbers, CNN Tops MSNBC

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NEW YORK — Fox News Channel is on a roll, with January its best month in prime-time ratings since the 2008 presidential election.

Meanwhile, the Nielsen Co. says CNN reclaimed second place from MSNBC for the first time in six months.

The Massachusetts Senate election helped drive viewers to Fox, which averaged 2.94 million viewers in prime-time in January. That's up sharply from the 2.29 million viewers last January, the month President Barack Obama was inaugurated. Fox hasn't seen such numbers since the 3.1 million average in November 2008.

CNN was heartened to vault past MSNBC, which had been making gains with an opinionated lineup. CNN averaged 946,000 viewers in prime-time in January, compared with MSNBC's 838,000. Each of the news networks had bigger audiences in January than they did in December; CNN and MSNBC viewership dropped compared with January 2009.