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Fox News Crushes The Cable News Competition In October Ratings

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Sean Hannity, the unrivaled King of Cable News (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Most of the time, Fox News Channel’s competitors can point to something and say, we beat them there. Often, it’s just a daytime hour or weekend show; sometimes it’s bigger, like the week earlier this year when MSNBC’s prime-time star Rachel Maddow turned in her show’s best week ever. But not this time. Not in October.

Fox News wiped the floor with CNN and MSNBC in October, beating the combined ratings of the two networks in prime-time, and delivering wall-to-wall wins across all key dayparts. Fox News also saw its ratings climb in October from the same month a year ago–as its competition, with few exceptions, saw significant viewership drops.

For the seventh month in a row, Fox News host Sean Hannity was the most-watched host in cable news, with a total audience of 3.495 million. FNC ran the table with the top-five most-watched shows in prime, with Hannity followed by Tucker Carlson (3.231 million), Laura Ingraham (2.973 million), The Five (2.838 million) and Special Report with Bret Baier (2.668 million).

Several Fox News shows, including The Ingraham Angle, The Story with Martha MacCallum, Outnumbered with Harris Faulkner, The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino and Fox News at Night with Shannon Bream had all-time high ratings in October.

Overall, Fox News viewership was up 25% in October (among total viewers), while MSNBC remained flat and CNN ticked up 1%. Among viewers 25-54, the key demographic coveted by advertisers, Fox grew compared to October 2017 by 1%, while CNN (down 11%) and MSNBC (down 19%) both fell.

MSNBC had several of its key shows, including Morning Joe, All In with Chris Hayes, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and The 11th Hour with Brian Williams return their lowest-rated month of 2018 in October.

MSNBC was largely uncontested for second place overall, beating CNN among total viewers in prime and total day for the 13th consecutive month. Morning Joe beat CNN’s New Day for the 44th straight month, as the network enjoyed year-over-year growth in daytime and total day, putting the network on track to post its third-straight record year overall.

MSNBC’s strongest delivery in October was in daytime, where the network’s news-and-politics focused shows beat CNN hour after hour, from 5 a.m. through 3 a.m.

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