What a difference a year makes.
Last April, CNN suffered its worst daytime ratings in over a decade. Last month, it managed to beat MSNBC in both the daytime and primetime ratings and finish second for the first time in more than two years. And more importantly for CNN, it is now ranked #2 for the year in cable news behind Fox News.
CNN President Jeff Zucker congratulated the staff on Tuesday:
April 30, 2013
It’s a new day at CNN…and a busy one as well.
We have just announced that our new morning program will launch on June 10th, and will be called New Day. Hosted by Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, along with Michaela Pereira, we think the show will live up to its name in a couple of ways. So mark your calendars and start the countdown clock.
In addition, end of month ratings are now in and I wanted to share with you some highlights. For the month of April, CNN posted its best ratings since the November election, and we also topped MSNBC for the first time in more than a year. Year-to-date, CNN is now the #2 cable news network in America. In fact, not only did CNN top MSNBC, but HLN did as well. In addition, CNN digital is having its best month ever, in its history.
We value the fact that our audience comes to us for breaking news coverage and clearly they stayed with us throughout this news cycle. We also saw the successful launch of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown this month, and that was another big draw for our audience. As we continue to expand our offerings beyond breaking news, we are reminded of how important it is that CNN remains essential.
None of this happens without all of you. Thank you, and congratulations.
CNN managed this rare ratings win thanks to its increased coverage during the Boston marathon bombings, and the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas.
While CNN was surging in April, MSNBC was sagging, down 10 percent in total viewers during the day and four percent in primetime, compared to the same month last year.
Fox also had a very good month in April, finishing first again among cable news channels and second overall among advertiser-supported cable channels.
One very busy news month doesn’t mean that CNN has solved its long-term ratings woes—and they could very easily revert to form this month—but it does underscore that when it comes to breaking news, MSNBC isn’t the place to be.