Accuracy in Media

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MSNBC, which has been struggling all year in the ratings, trailed CNN for the fifth straight month despite the midterm elections, which should have given the network an edge over its closest competitor.

Compared to November 2013, MSNBC was down 13% in total viewers and 16% in the A25-54 demo in total day viewing. The news was only slightly better in primetime, where they were off 6% in total viewers and 8% in the demo.

The November ratings struggles are a complete reversal from 2012, when the presidential election helped MSNBC to a second-place finish that eventually led to network president Phil Griffin predicting that they would overtake Fox News in 2014. Instead, they have not only lost ground to Fox but have now fallen behind CNN, which has benefited from the plethora of breaking news stories this year.

MSNBC also suffered because it has become so closely aligned with the Democratic Party that as the Democrats’ election chances faded in the midterms, so did MSNBC’s ratings.

While MSNBC was sinking into the ratings abyss, CNN was stealing their viewers and recorded the best overall viewership growth among cable news networks, though it still trailed Fox News by a wide margin.

For Fox News, which also saw its numbers increase from November 2013, it was a good month as it finished as the second most watched network in all of cable. Greta Van Susteren and Sean Hannity posted their best months since moving to new time slots in October 2013.

The other person celebrating a good November is Megyn Kelly, who finished first in the demo and in the process toppled colleague Bill O’Reilly, who had held that spot since October 2012. That cemented her status as the queen of cable news.

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