We're only one month into a new year, and things are still unsettled. Given the current political process where we start talking about the next election the day after the past election, and political conversation constantly dominates the news, it should not be surprising that both CNN and MSNBC benefited from President Obama's victory. Inauguration week proved to be a boon for the both of them.
CNN had more 18-49 viewers in primetime than either Fox News or MSNBC. It also won in 18-34s and in the key demographic, 25-54s. Fox News finished third in all three categories. Its viewers seem to have ignored the inauguration.
On a total day basis, CNN beat its two rivals among 18-49s and 18-34s, but Fox News won among the 25-54s. All in all, news viewing is surprisingly small for an inauguration week; the oldest viewers (people over 54) who make up so much of Fox News' total audience, seem to have been so disgruntled by Obama's victory stopped watching news all together last week.
Fox News was victorious in the monthly numbers in primetime in all categories except the 18-34s, where CNN and MSNBC dominated. Total day January 2013 to January 2012 comparisons tell a different story. Fox News lost viewers in every category; down 6 percent in total viewers, 19 percent in 18-49s, 5 percent in 18-34s, and 21 percent among the most valuable 25-54s. MSNBC did much better, up 9 percent in total viewers, 7 percent in 18-49s, 1 percent in 18-34s, and 20 percent in 25-54s. CNN was up 1 percent in total viewers, 2 percent in 18-34s but dropped 7 percent in 18-49s and 3 percent in 25-54s.
I've thrown an awful lot of numbers out here, but to tell it in shorthand, Fox News viewers seem to be licking their wounds while MSNBC and CNN folk gloat just a little bit.