THE BLOG
02/04/2011 05:25 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Cable News Ratings: January Snapshot

FoxNews continues to dominate news viewing in total audience and all demographics except 18-34 year olds, where MSNBC leads. According to Cynopsis, all news networks' ratings were down year to year except MSNBC, which enjoyed double digit gains in primetime (18%) and total programming day (23%). The other three networks suffered losses ranging from 20% to 30%. MSNBC led CNN in total audience and in every category, Headline News finished a distant fourth.

The loss of Keith Olbermann for the last week of the month seems to have had little effect. In December, MSNBC averaged 810,000 viewers in primetime -- in January, it averaged 831,000. Next month's numbers may more accurately reflect the impact of Olbermann's loss on MSNBC.

For the rest, it's just more of the same; Headline News finishes out of the top forty of all cable networks in every category, and falls as far as sixty-seven among adults 18-34. CNN's wall-to-wall coverage of Egypt in turmoil seems not to have benefited the network. CNN's reporting has been excellent, but the decline in audience seems to indicate that more-than-enough remains "more than enough".

CNN's continued decline in primetime viewing suggests that Parker-Spitzer is not working, and even the great numbers on Piers Morgan's opening night were not sustained through the rest of the week. The new management still has a hard job.

The continued decline in viewing seems to me an indication that Americans of all strifes and political beliefs are becoming disillusioned with both the political process and the news media. It's as if many of us are saying, "No news is good news."