Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News ended January with a 19-year streak as the top cable news network but gave up some ground, at least temporarily, to CNN, according to Nielsen Media Research on Tuesday.
Fox News averaged 1.8 million viewers across the total day and 3.5 million viewers in primetime for the Nielsen ratings year from January 2020 to February 2021, the firm said.
But according to Reuters January may have marked a possible shift in TV viewing habits away from Fox News as CNN viewers tuned in en masse as Democrats gained control of the Senate and Democrat Joe Biden was inaugurated.
Across the entire day AT&T Inc-owned CNN outperformed Fox Corp’s Fox News in January, with record ratings as the top cable news network that month. In January, Fox’s audience was down 19% in total viewers from the same period a year ago, compared to CNN’s 153% total audience increase in the period.
CNN also topped Fox in primetime ratings in January, a period when Fox News and hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity have historically been dominant.
That said, in signs CNN’s run may be only temporary the first full week following the Jan. 20 inauguration Fox once again beat CNN and Comcast Corp-owned MSNBC in total primetime viewers.
🚨HUGE RATINGS NEWS!🚨
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) February 2, 2021
In January, Fox News announced it was adding another hour of opinion programming at 7 p.m., among other changes. It recently hired Larry Kudlow, a former top economic adviser to ex-President Trump, as a contributor to Fox News and host of a new weekday show on the Fox Business Network.
Now that CNN won’t have President Trump to bash any longer, they might find their viewership slipping away.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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