MSNBC's Rachel Maddow helps network beat Fox News in Monday primetime ratings battle

June 8, 2023
Ben Marquis

Ever since Fox News sidelined its formerly top-rated primetime host Tucker Carlson on April 21, the network has suffered a substantial decline in viewership ratings.

Now, about a month-and-a-half later, the previously unthinkable has occurred -- MSNBC's once-per-week program hosted by Rachel Maddow took the top spot in the nightly primetime ratings battle over Fox News on Monday, Breitbart reported.

Yet, while some things can and do change, other things seem to always stay the same, like CNN trailing behind both of its rival competitors in a far distant third place in terms of viewership.

MSNBC's Maddow takes the top spot

Per the left-leaning Advocate, Rachel Maddow's MSNBC program, which only airs on Monday nights, was the top-rated primetime show of the day with a total of 2.46 million viewers.

Bolstered by Maddow's show, MSNBC ultimately averaged 1.86 million viewers during the 8-11 pm primetime hours, which beat out Fox News with 1.73 million viewers and CNN with 529,000 viewers.

MSNBC also won the night in terms of the key demographic targeted by advertisers, adults aged 25-54, with an average of 170,000 such viewers, though Maddow herself was again on top with 220,000 viewers in that particular demo.

That said, Fox News still won out overall on Monday with regard to total day average viewers and among the key demo, with MSNBC following behind in second place and CNN, as always, trailing well behind the other networks.

Fox News primetime viewership down roughly one-third

It was just last week that Forbes reported that Fox News has lost approximately one-third of its total primetime audience in the aftermath of the inscrutable decision to take Tucker Carlson off the air, falling from an average of 2.08 million viewers in April in the 8-11 pm hours to an average of 1.42 million in May during that same block.

Unsurprisingly, the drop-off was the biggest in the 8 pm hour previously hosted by Carlson, which plummeted by around 50 percent from an average of 3.06 million viewers during the first three weeks of April to an average of just 1.52 million viewers in May.

The damage wasn't confined to that one hour, though, as lead-in programs "Special Report with Bret Baier" and "Jesse Watters Primetime" lost 18 percent and 23 percent of their viewers, respectively, while "Hannity," which previously benefited from Carlson's large audience staying tuned to Fox News for his 9 pm show, is now down about 27 percent in average viewers from April to May.

Interestingly enough, Forbes noted that MSNBC and CNN had also experienced a drop-off in viewership from April to May, albeit for different reasons, while Newsmax, almost certainly due to catching some of Fox News' disaffected former viewers, enjoyed huge increases of 50 percent in total day viewers, 68 percent in primetime viewers, and an 81 percent increase for its 8 pm program anchored by former Fox News host Eric Bolling.

Carlson draws massive numbers with Twitter video

Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson himself seemingly reemerged on Tuesday with a 10-minute video posted on Twitter that, while not exactly comparable, nevertheless appeared to draw in numbers that would have bested anything offered on any of the cable news networks.

In just two days, the tweeted video has accumulated more than 108 million views -- though that doesn't necessarily mean everybody watched the entire clip -- and had around 860,000 likes, more than 240,000 retweets, was bookmarked and saved by 46,000 users, and was quote-tweeted around 24,000 times.

It should be devastatingly clear to Fox News executives by now that sidelining and attempting to silence Carlson was an absolutely foolish and short-sighted thing to do businesswise, and it remains to be seen if the network will ever recover the astonishing number of once-loyal viewers it has now lost.

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