Fox News: 590,000*
All channels aired Primary coverage on Tuesday, and yes, CNN did code their 8PM program as “ELECTION CENTER,” but they coded the whole night with that title, so I won’t give them credit for both regular programming and event programming. This average is without the Tuesday primary bump. It would have increased their weekly average to 470,000 if I counted the Tuesday coverage, so I’ll let you decide. Both Fox and particularly MSNBC would have also increased, if I used the primary coverage in their 8PM actual audience. But they were coded “primary coverage” and not Bill O’Reilly and COUNTDOWN so Tuesday could not be included in their five day average. Expect CNN to count that Tuesday as part of their 8PM time period average for the month. There is a difference in looking at what happens to audience in a time period hour rather than an actual program that airs in the time period – yes, I know this can be confusing, but it’s important. Billo is up a good 10% from last week, but MSNBC is down dramatically (126,000 average loss) and CNN is down just slightly.
Courtesy: Google Images
Fox News: 425,000*
Again, Primary coverage aired on Tuesday, so Fox and CNN are 4 day averages with MSNBC only airing Dan Abrams 3 days last week. HANNITY & COLMES on Fox is up slightly over last week, as is LKL. Dan Abrams is down a hefty 20% and MSNBC announced some pretty big schedule changes this week for primetime to help boost the 8-11PM hours.
Fox News: 371,000*
Yes, AC360 once again beat GRETA fair and square, even with a very weak Friday performance. The Tuesday CNN Primary coverage is NOT included in this average because it was not coded an “AC360.” MSNBC is down over 90,000 in audience from last week with its “docbloc.” The biggest change to affect MSNBC in primetime is moving the rebroadcast of COUNTDOWN into the 10PM Eastern time slot from its regular 12MD airing time. This will put the rebroadcast of COUNTDOWN up against AC360 and GRETA. Since MSNBC did fairly well in the time period with its “docbloc,” there is no question they are moving COUNTDOWN up against AC360 for competitive reasons. AC360 was the #2 program for all of primetime on Wednesday and Thursday, March 5 and 6, respectively (only behind Bill O’Reilly) – and this was with regular programming.
Additionally, Dan Abrams’ 9PM program will be renamed VERDICT to clarify to viewers that it will have a law focus. Outside of primetime, at 6PM Eastern TUCKER will be canceled and NBC Nightly News White House Correspondent David Gregory will take over the time slot with a politically based program called RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE. This will be up against THE SITUATION ROOM on CNN and BRIT HUME on Fox News.
MSNBC has clearly seen the benefits of political programming and wants a share of those ratings. Don’t expect CNN to sit back and watch its audience erode.
*4 day average; primary coverage aired Tuesday.
**3 day average; primary coverage aired Tuesday; “docblock” aired Friday.
^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Adults 25-54 audience; Live + Same Day (LS), Fast Track Nationals.