We won’t know for a few months if this is a short-lived phenomenon based on the Boston Marathon bombings or a permanent viewing shift based on something that is as of now unknown. But for the month of April and for the first time in two years, in both total day and primetime, CNN handily beat MSNBC.
Fox News, however, beat both of them combined.
The April total day average for CNN was 638,000 viewers. MSNBC only reached 406,000. Fox News enjoyed an average of 1,223,000 viewers, which is more than both CNN and MSNBC combined.
In the 25-54 demo (which matters most to advertisers, but has nothing to do with national impact), Fox was still in the lead, with CNN not far behind. MSNBC, however, lagged a distant third.
The most humiliating news for MSNBC is that in the wake of the most devastating and dramatic terrorist attack on American soil since 2001, quite incredibly, the network saw no increase in its ratings over this same time last year. In total day, there was a double digit decrease:
Compared to April 2012 MSNBC was down -10% in total viewers and -1% in adults 25-54 in primetime. In total day, MSNBC was down -4% in total viewers and was flat in the demo.
A month into his new primetime show,
Rachel Maddow Jr. Chris Hayes is thus far something of a dud, “down 18 percent in total viewers compared to last year’s program in the 8 p.m. slot, The Ed Show.”
Hayes also placed last in the 25-54 demo.
Could it be that MSNBC’s decision to stop being a news channel in favor of becoming talk radio with pictures and smug hosts, has finally run its course? When liberals relished reassurance and confirmation bias in the wake of the Tea Party victory in 2010 and Obama’s push for re-election in 2012, MSNBC’s left-wing programming made sense.
But what good are pointy-headed leftists who all look alike when the real world intrudes?
Not much, apparently.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC