Accuracy in Media

MSNBC managed to hold on to second place in the cable ratings race in October but saw its lead weakened by a revamped CNN lineup.

CNN, on the strength of Anderson Cooper 360, topped MSNBC in the key A 25-54 demo (178k vs. 175k) for the third consecutive month. Cooper’s program actually grew by 21 percent in the demo while MSNBC lost 36 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Cooper also beat MSNBC in the key A25-54 demo at 10 p.m. despite running a repeat program of his 8 p.m. show against Ed Schultz. Once again Cooper’s program grew 2% from last year while MSNBC lost 22%.

MSNBC didn’t mention these numbers in its press release but chose to focus on how their late October programming changes beat CNN in their debut week.

Even though MSNBC easily beat CNN in the overall audience numbers, the decline in the key A25-54 demo has made MSNBC’s hold on second place more tenuous lately and they can only hope the recent programming changes will be enough to prevent them from falling behind CNN.

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