The October 2009 cable news ratings are in with a major milestone: CNN has fallen to last place
in the primetime demographic, the category advertisers covet most and in which three of its four primetime shows finished last for the first time ever.
CNN fell to fourth with an average of 190,000 A25-54 viewers in primetime in October, just behind sister network HLN, which averaged 191,000 A25-54 viewers in primetime. Fox News won the prime demo with 583,000 A25-54 viewers, and MSNBC came in second with 239,000.
In total viewers, Fox News won primetime with an average of 2,234,000. MSNBC averaged 730,000 total viewers, CNN averaged 679,000 total viewers, and HLN averaged 530,000 total viewers.
In the total day ratings, Fox News won among A25-54 viewers with an average of 344,000, while CNN (142,00) and HLN (146,000) beat last-place MSNBC (131,000).
Among total viewers in total day ratings, Fox News averaged 1,255,000 for first place. CNN placed second with 486,000, MSNBC placed third with 359,000, and HLN placed last with 307,000.
In all categories, CNN and MSNBC fell to their respective 2009 lows, and the networks have taken to squabbling with each other over whose October was better.
"We're thrilled to be beating CNN in primetime, where the money is made," a MSNBC spokesperson told the Huffington Post.
"We couldn't be more pleased that both our networks (CNN and HLN) are now topping MSNBC in total day and that CNN.com leads all TV news competitors on the web," a CNN spokesperson said. "As we have said for years, we measure our audience across all CNN Worldwide platforms and throughout the day, not just primetime. CNN provides quality journalism and our ratings reflect the news environment more than opinion programming does - especially in primetime."
Fox News took the top 13 programs in all of cable news, with "The O'Reilly Factor" on top for the 107th consecutive month. O'Reilly averaged 3,389,000 total viewers; "Glenn Beck" (2,748,000), "Hannity" (2,374,000), "Special Report with Bret Baier" (2,248,000), and "Fox Report with Shepard Smith" (1,989,000) rounded out the top five (full ranker below).
"Anderson Cooper 360" is a particular let-down for CNN, as it came in last place at 10PM in the primetime demographic, losing even to repeats of "Countdown" and "Nancy Grace." "Lou Dobbs" also came in last in the prime demo; in fact, "Campbell Brown" also came in last in the prime demo, making "Larry King Live" the only CNN program not to lose in that category (it beat the new "Joy Behar Show" on HLN).
Total Day (M-Su), Total Viewers
Fox News: 1,255,000
Total Day (M-Su), A25-54
Fox News: 344,000
Primetime (M-Su), Total Viewers
Fox News: 2,234,000
Primetime (M-Su), A25-54
Fox News: 583,000
7PM, Total Viewers
Fox Report with Shepard Smith: 1,989,000
Lou Dobbs Tonight: 631,000
Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell: 461,000
Fox Report with Shepard Smith: 463,000
Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell: 167,000
Lou Dobbs Tonight: 163,000
8PM, Total Viewers
O'Reilly Factor: 3,389,000
Nancy Grace: 830,000
Campbell Brown: 648,000
O'Reilly Factor 875,000
Nancy Grace: 269,000
Campbell Brown: 161,000
9PM, Total Viewers
Rachel Maddow: 880,000
Larry King Live: 842,000
Joy Behar: 535,000
Rachel Maddow: 246,000
Larry King Live: 224,000
Joy Behar: 183,000
10PM, Total Viewers
On the Record with Greta van Susteren: 1,958,000
Anderson Cooper 360: 689,000
Countdown (repeat): 600,000
Nancy Grace (repeat): 495,000
On the Record with Greta van Susteren: 533,000
Nancy Grace (repeat): 222,000
Countdown (repeat): 218,000
Anderson Cooper 360: 210,000
October 2009 Total Viewers Cable News Program Ranker:
October 2009 A25-54 Cable News Program Ranker:
Correction: An earlier version of this story said it was the first time CNN had fallen to last place in primetime; the network had actually placed last twice already in 2009. October 2009 is the first month that three of CNN's four primetime programs placed last. The Huffington Post regrets the error.