The ratings are in for April 2010, and Fox News has hit a ratings milestone: its 100th consecutive month as the top cable news network.
In primetime (8-11PM), Fox News averaged 1.92 million total viewers (485,000 A25-54) to take first place; MSNBC came in second with 785,000 total viewers (239,000 A25-54). CNN came in third in total viewers with 596,000, beating HLN's 512,000; in the A25-54 demo, however, HLN placed third with 166,000 to CNN's 148,000.
For the full day, HLN actually placed second in the demo with 134,000 A25-54 viewers, behind only Fox News' 287,000. CNN beat MSNBC in total viewers (413,000 to 391,000), but MSNBC beat CNN in the demo (129,000 to 123,000).
Though Fox News remains #1, it is showing some signs of wear and tear: the network was down 19% in primetime total viewers and 13% in the prime demo compared to last April; it was down 17% in total day total viewers and 16% in the total day demo as well. Of course, Fox News is not the only network that's down — CNN is down 40% in primetime and 35% in total day in both total viewers and the demo, and MSNBC is down 6% in total viewers in both primetime and total day — but it is a sign that Fox News' once unstoppable ratings growth has tapered off.
On the program level, MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" broke into the top 10 (although Olbermann's ratings are down 13% in total viewers and 30% in the demo), but Fox News programs continued to dominate. Interestingly, for the first time since he debuted on Fox News, Glenn Beck did not grow year-over-year: in fact, his show was down 7% in total viewers and 6% in the demo. Also for the first time, MSNBC's repeats of both "Countdown" (10PM) and "The Rachel Maddow Show" (11PM) beat CNN's two-hour "Anderson Cooper 360" head-to-head.
See the rankings*:
*NOTE: The rankings are valid through the top 11 slots -- i.e. "Rachel Maddow" actually placed #11 for the month; after that, the show ratings are not directly in order but are accurate and ordered relative to one another.