As the breaking news cycle cooled in April, CNN continued to post big gains and grew more than any other cable news network compared to a year ago – increasing an impressive +31% in M-F primetime (201k vs. 154k), +25% in total day (154k vs. 123k) and +33% during dayside (162k vs. 122k) in the key demo adults 25-54. Also in April, CNN topped MSNBC in total day (6a-6a) among both total viewers (452k vs. 429k) and in the key demo (154k vs. 147k); FNC was down -6% (272k vs. 288k) in the demo.
While CNN saw a +31% increase in M-F primetime in April, MSNBC was up only 7% (273k vs. 256k) and Fox News declined -10% (543k vs. 600k) compared to last year among 25-54. In addition, each CNN primetime (M-F) program also saw substantial double-digit demo gains vs. a year ago.
• CNN’s In the Arena was the only program at 8 pm to gain viewers compared to April 2010 – increasing +30% (157k vs. 121k), MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was down -5% (258k vs. 272k) and FNC’s O’Reilly Factor was off -9% (701k vs. 774k) in the demo 25-54. Since In the Arena launched (February 28) the program is up +72% among 25-54 vs. 4th quarter (232k vs. 135k), while MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is down -14% since his launch (January 24) vs. Olbermann’s 4th quarter average (248k vs. 288k).
• In April, Piers Morgan Tonight continued to grow and increased more than the other cable news networks at 9 pm in the demo vs. year-ago programming – up +20% (189k vs. 157k), MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was up 13% (315k vs. 279k) and FNC’s Hannity was down -3% (525k vs. 541k). In addition, compared to CNN’s 4th quarter average Piers Morgan launch-to-date is up +61% in the demo (274k vs. 170k) and +30% among total viewers (856k vs. 657k).
• AC 360 also grew the most compared to the other cable news networks at 10 pm vs. last year – increasing +35% (244k vs. 181k), MSNBC’s The Ed Show/Docs grew 22% (247k vs. 203k) while Fox News’s On the Record dropped double digits, losing -14% of its key demo audience in April (413k vs. 480k).
At 7 pm, John King, USA was also up this month, increasing +58% in the demo 25-54 (172k vs. 109k) and +23% in total viewers (523k vs. 426k) vs. April 2010.
At 5 pm, CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer increased +41% in the demo vs. last year (173k vs. 123k), and topped MSNBC’s Hardball (156k). The Situation Room also increased +24% in total viewers (630k vs.509k) vs. a year ago. FNC’s Glenn Beck continued to experience declines in April compared to a year ago – decreasing -25% in the key demo 25-54 (455k vs. 609k) and declined -12% in total viewers (1.906m vs. 2.171m). In addition, the Situation Room at 6 pm was up +44% in the demo (179k vs. 124k) and increased +16% in total viewers (570k vs. 490k).
In April, CNN Newsroom (9am to 5pm) bested MSNBC every hour in both total viewers and the key demo 25-54, posting gains from 14%-53% each hour in the demo. In head-to-head comparisons with MSNBC’s daytime non-opinion programming, CNN had a +54% advantage in total viewers (531k vs. 344k) and a +74% lead among adults 25-54 (162k vs. 93k). Specifically, at 1 pm CNN Newsroom was up +51% in the demo 25-54 and at 4 pm, the Brooke Baldwin led-hour increased +53%.
State of the Union with Candy Crowley on Sunday at 9 am also grew compared to a year ago, up +17% (152k vs. 130k) and at noon increased +25% (175k vs. 140k). Fareed Zakaria GPS at 10 am grew +21% (156k vs. 129k) and Reliable Sources was up +34% (173k vs. 129k) in the demo 25-54.
CNN reached a cumulative audience of 93.7 million viewers in April, FNC lagged behind with 78.1 million and MSNBC averaged 73.7 million.