Some Comeback: CNN Still Has Fewer Primetime Viewers Than Collapsing MSNBC

Erin Burnett - CNN
CNN Screenshot

The 25-54 news demo is king in cable news. That is the metric everyone looks at because that is where the money is. For whatever reason, advertisers believe that people in that particular age group are more easily duped into buying their junk, so those aged 25-54 are the gold standard in the news business. By that measurement, MSNBC is collapsing. Nevertheless, when it comes to total viewers, during the all-important primetime hours, MSNBC is still beating CNN in total viewers.

Below are the numbers from all of last week. The first number is average total primetime viewers, the second is the 25-54 demo. As you can see, all the talk around CNN’s resurgence is more than a little overhyped. (In total total day viewers, CNN usually edges MSNBC, but not by much).


FOXN: 2,161 – 388

CNN: 467 – 191

MSNBC: 596 – 114



FOXN: 2,335 – 447

CNN: 458 – 120

MSNBC: 651 – 108



FOXN: 2,467 – 434

CNN: 388 – 156

MSNBC: 661 – 81



FOXN: 2,379 – 508

CNN: 364 – 132

MSNBC: 502 – 100



FOXN: 2,040 – 388

CNN: 392 – 106   175

MSNBC: 476 – 95

Advertisers might not care about total viewers, but cable providers sure do, as should any cable news network eager to have any kind of impact. The more eyeballs, the more voters you take your message to. MSNBC and CNN are both left-wing propaganda networks. MSNBC and CNN are both losing handily to Fox News in both total and demo viewers. But the naked truth is that during their primetime hours, fewer voters are tuning into CNN than they are MSNBC.

CNN’s race-baiting, airplane-missing, whale-saving, anti-Republican, anti-Israel narrative rampages might be making advertisers happier, but during the most important time of day, those narratives are not drawing more viewers than another left-wing network that is currently sinking like a cement block.

Some comeback.

John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC