Fox News Channel facing tough prime-time ratings challenge from MSNBC of late

In the world of television ratings, what matters most to advertisers is the number of viewers who are between the ages of 25 and 54. That group is known as the “key demographic.”

It’s not that viewers younger than 25 or older than 54 are negligible. Hey, those people also spend money for products and services they see on TV. But most advertisers especially covet viewers in the key demographic.

With that in mind, check out THIS STORY about the two most popular cable-news outlets:

There is something happening in cable news that can no longer be ignored. MSNBC is seriously challenging Fox News. Specifically, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell are regularly beating their Fox News competition in the key 25-54 demo. Last week, Maddow beat Hannity, 378,000 viewers to 352,000 in the demo.

This week Maddow handily defeated Hannity on Monday (394,000-336,000) and Tuesday (388,000-285,000). Even with guest hosts filling in for Maddow on Wednesday and Thursday, Hannity was only able to eek out small wins of 55,000 and 38,000 in the demo. From election day through the end of November, Maddow beat Hannity by 13 percent.

Hannity’s margin over Maddow in total viewers is inflated by the fact that Fox News is available in more homes than MSNBC. Bill O’Reilly’s show is the only thing keeping Fox News ahead in the primetime demo. If anything ever happens to O’Reilly, Fox News will be in deep trouble.

The biggest sign yet that Fox News knows they have a problem was how they responded to Rachel Maddow being nominated for a Grammy for her spoken word version of Drift.

Here was the headline on Fox Nation [on FNC’s Web site]: “Rachel Madd-Cow Gets a Grammy Nomination?” 



  1. Fox coverage of the presidential campaign was pathetic and nauseous. Good to see viewers become more selective when it comes to news.

  2. Brian Opsahl

    I think people are sick of lying ,ranting by Hannity….when you lie to your viewers like they did during the election what do they expect…Rachel Maddow will tell it like it is and doe’s NOT lie to her viewers….she may be a progessive but truth is a big part of her show..

  3. I could do this all day. But you all get the point. Brian Opsahl is wrong (again). Rachel Maddow is clearly a liar.


  4. Brian Opsahl

    What dig up a republican Fox sponcerd web sites…Really…Watch and pay attention dont reli on some BS web sites…Make up your OWN mind…It is a FACT that Fox lied for over 2 weeks about the polling …remember that …!!

  5. Don from NY

    These ratings mean nothing. After 4 years of battling against the progressive main stream media and the progressive Obama Administration, we’re very tired. We took a beating in the election and we need some time off to recover… to absorb the deep disappointment of losing our country to the Leftist radicals. We’ll be back soon. We don’t have a choice.

  6. Net 9PM P2+ (000s) 25-54 (000s) 35-64 (000s)
    FNC Hannity 1,845 355 733
    CNN Piers Morgan Tonight 755 168 278
    MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show 1,134 317 546


  7. Dream on….. The lame stream left media is nothing but liars. Remember cnn and cbs editing
    and misrepresenting the 911 call about George Zimmerman….who now is filing lawsuits.
    Remember the false document that DAN RATHER made up about G. W. BUSH … and was fired.
    And don’t forget the MOST PROLIFIC LIAR OF ALL your MARXIST MUSLIM leader
    obama . The left is nothing but the brain dead, criminals and the ELITISTS that are
    duping the sheep and stealing the USA blind .

  8. Karl: Shouting (that is, using all capitalized letters in certain words, phrases and sentences) is not allowed here. Don’t let it happen again or you’ll be banished from this blog forevermore.

    Gee, we wouldn’t want that to happen, would we? We would miss out on your mindless ranting about “MARXIST MUSLIM leader obama.”

  9. Brian Opsahl – Please provide proof that “Fox lied for two weeks about their polling”. Unlike yourself, I’ll happily accept a link from any major left-wing site as sufficient proof. (You see, also unlike yourself, I actually read sources from all points of view. The points contained in my links are valid if you would actually bother to read them.)

    And don’t think a reference to Karl Rove or Dick Morris means that “Fox Lies.” It doesn’t. Fox, just like every major news organization except MSNBC, has pundits that express multiple points of view. For example, Fox News contributors Juan Williams and Bob Beckel both predicted Obama victories. Conservative columnist George Will regularly appears on NBC. He predicted that Romney would win. Does that mean NBC lies?

  10. Orlando Clay

    Neftali blathers: “Fox, just like every major news organization except MSNBC, has pundits that express multiple points of view.”

    MSNBC has no pundits that express a different point of view? Really?

    In the spirit of the season, Neftali, I am going to refrain from calling you a “liar.” Let’s just say that you are either terribly mistaken or misinformed. Or perhaps both.

    If you were to ever venture outside your Fox News bubble and watch MSNBC, you would discover that the following conservative commentators appear regularly on MSNBC broadcasts:

    David Frum. Michael Smerconish (who sometimes serves as substitute host for Chris Matthews). Steve Schmidt (McCain’s 2008 campaign advisor). Michael Steele (former RNC chairman). Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (a former Bush administration advisor).

    Heck, even once or twice a year, Lawrence O’Donnell invites Ann Coulter onto his show for laughs.

    And, oh, yeah, MSNBC even has a full-time conservative host: Joe Scarborough.

    Apology accepted.

  11. Brian Opsahl

    @neftali…my proof was 2 weeks before the election I watched as Hannity,O’Rielly on Fox every night said ALL the polls were wrong (according to there data) and that they were all lying because the lame stream Media were all favoring Mr. Obama….when all they were doing was reporting the real news…Fact…I watched it..!! Turns out that Carl Rove was telling Fox that Romney was winning (and they beleived him) and he was doing this because he thought that projecting a winner might turn things around for them….LIES is all it turned out to be…neftali how come everybody know this but you..are you in deniel about your beloved Fox story tellers…? Again

  12. Brian Opsahl – It wasn’t lies, you numbskull. The thought was that most polling organizations were over sampling the number of Democrats. Republicans honestly believed that 2008 was an electoral outlier. Meaning Obama got elected because of a combination of public hatred for the outgoing president, combined with economic fears, combined with a hugely popular yet unproven candidate in Obama. They figured this year with a mediocre record at best from the President, combined with a stagnant economy, there was no way there would be a similar turnout for the Democratic candidate. Republicans simply thought the polls were over sampled to reflect the 2008 results. Turns out they were wrong. Democrats did indeed turn out in similar numbers again (for a variety of reasons.) A lie is when you purposely deceive. In this case its a miscalculation that likely will not be repeated. Learn the difference.

    Olrando Clay – You are of course correct. I’m actually aware of Frum and Steele’s involvement at MSNBC, I just forgot. I wasn’t aware that Wilkerson also worked there. I never heard of Smerconish, but based on his profile, he looks more like a moderate.

  13. Brian Opsahl

    I watched with my own eyes dipstick..Fox said Nate Silver was lying ….for 2 weeks ….over and over every night trying to convince there viewers that everybody else was lying and that Carl Rove and Fox had the real numbers….remember that..!!

    I also remember msnbc reporting that Fox was lying about the well known poll numbers that had Mr. Obama winning almost all of the swing States…..Then all of what MSNBC said came true …and all of what Fox said wasn’t…..Twist that anyway you want .but in my book they LIED…!!

  14. Fox never said Nate Silver was lying. You’re hallucinating. Not only that, you’re an idiot. Fox said that Nate Silver’s methodology was wrong. But they never outright called him a liar.

    BTW. Its “Karl Rove” not “Carl Rove”

  15. Brian Opsahl

    Call it what you want …Sore loser, bad ideas,hateful towards most Americans, in deniel, Romney lied about everything, Fox viewers have low IQs, Did I mention that you lost..!!

  16. Sore loser? Perhaps.

    bad ideas? Some of them are, most aren’t.

    Hateful towards most Americans? No, only to 47%. That’s not “most” that’s less than half.

    In Deniel. [sic] – Not at all. I’m well are of the current situation.

    Romney did not lie about everything, that in itself is a lie, liar.

    Fox Viewers have low IQ’s – Well, that’s difficult to prove. I have seen several polls that shows they are the least informed.

    And finally, “I” lost? – No, the whole country lost. We’re in for another 4 years of economic misery.

  17. Hateful to want the country back on sound fiscal footing? In what alternate universe are living Brian?

    I think it is hateful to continue to allow soaring budget deficits and federal debt, no matter who is in charge.

  18. Brian Opsahl

    Look I want the deficit as the top priority also..!! I will say that again…!! I want the deficit TOP priority…Hello..!!

  19. Luke Fredrickson

    So entertaining to watch Nef having a “come apart”.

    BTW, Fox was most definately distorting the truth, willfully, to generate higher ratings. They do it on the daily.

    Mitt? Huge liar. Pathological even.

  20. So now Luke has a medical degree?

  21. Brian,

    I am eagerly awaiting the President’s plan to MEANINGFULLY decrease the deficit.

    Here is an informational piece to help you understand what that might look like.


    President Obama seems to be pushing two options. One is to achieve spending “savings” by double counting a trillion dollars over 10 years that has been already “cut,” “returning” almost a trillion dollars the United States will not spend on wars, and then adding a large tax increase, supposed interest savings, and some token program cuts. His alternative is to go over the fiscal cliff—at least through the expiration of tax cuts this year, so he could start negotiations in 2013 with a big increase in revenue.

    Such a negotiating ploy will squander a historic opportunity to achieve a true economic legacy. All major legislative accomplishments require the president to lead in shaping the deal. He can bargain hard, but he needs to build trust. The president needs to represent the country, not just a party. Mistaken tactics now could lead to four years of political trench fighting, sinking other possible reforms, such as immigration. If President Obama is unable to signal a move toward real spending discipline, he will start his second term with a tragedy, not a legacy.

  22. Brian Opsahl

    Ok, do you realize your complaining about details of the fiscal plan that nobody really knows anything about unless your sleeping with Boehner,or Mr.Obama …otherwise your just guessing…!! and pre complaining without any real Facts just BS speculation…
    Doc…let me spare you the details…your payin more…Sir..!!
    Thats what I voted for

  23. I have been paying more than you since I was 30 years old sir.

    Class warfare isn’t gonna solve the problem my friend. In fact, it will likely make it worse.

    This study has lots of big words in it, but I will give you the summary to peruse.


    V. Summary
    The confluence of fiscal policy changes scheduled to occur at the end of 2012 – sometimes referred to as the “fiscal cliff” – poses serious challenges for policy makers. One area of disagreement is whether the increase in the top tax rates due to the sunset of elements of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, as well as the increase and expansion of the Medicare tax to unearned income for high-income taxpayers, should be allowed to occur.

    This study examines the impact of these higher top tax rates for the US economy in the long-run. Some of these provisions, particularly the increase in tax rates on dividends and capital gains, can be expected to adversely affect investment and the capital stock by reducing the after-tax return to investment. Other provisions, such as the increase in the top two ordinary tax rates and the increase in the Medicare tax on labor income of high-income taxpayers can be expected to both reduce disposable incomes and reduce labor supply by reducing the price of leisure.

    Overall, this study finds that the higher tax rates would reduce output in the long-run by 1.3% when the proceeds are used to finance additional government spending. Employment would fall by 0.5%. In today‟s economy these changes would translate into a decline in GDP of $200 billion and employment by roughly 710,000 jobs. Investment, the capital stock (net worth) and real after-tax wages would also fall. Under the alternative assumption that resulting revenues are used to finance an across-the-board tax cut, output would only fall by 0.4% and real after-tax wages would rise. A sensitivity analysis using “low” and “high” responsiveness of household and firm behavior bounds these results, but does not appreciably change the qualitative results.

    These results may suggest to policy makers that allowing the top tax rates to increase comes with economic consequences. Long-run output can be expected to fall, and, depending on the use of the revenues, living standards, as reflected by workers‟ real after-tax wages, may also be lower.

  24. Also keep in mind, that no matter how much you tax the rich, the amount of tax actually collected will likely be about 18-20% of GDP. The government will collect many more dollars if you can figure out a way to raise GDP rahter than raising tax rates

    Lots of good stuff in this link.


    What’s the best tax rate?

    We really don’t know what the optimum tax rate would be that maintains revenues at 18-20% of GDP while allowing for maximum GDP growth, but we do know that economic growth is good for everyone and as the economy grows, tax revenues grow automatically. Ideally, our leaders in Washington would try to figure out the optimum tax structure to generate revenues at 18-20% of GDP while stimulating economic growth. Once that level is determined, I believe they should set the rate and forget it.

    Does soaking the rich work?

    Unfortunately, tinkering with the tax code seems to be irresistible to almost all politicians. In addition, raising taxes on the ‘rich’ is a populist theme many politicians have adopted. This idea is widespread even though there is a very good chance that higher tax rates will not lead to higher tax revenues. Our political leaders often misunderstand the long-term consequences of tax law changes and they advocate policies that bear little or no relationship to economic reality.

    As you can see from these charts, soaking the rich by raising tax rates generally does not work. And, there can be collateral damage in that high tax rates almost always reduce economic activity which hurts everyone. If the goal is to maximize economic growth and generate adequate tax revenues, we know what makes sense.

    I put together the information in this post to answer the question initially raised — does raising tax rates increase tax revenues? I used information from both liberal and conservative sources to help you get comfortable with the history of tax rates and tax revenues.

    In closing, I want to reiterate that tax policy is important, but it should not be political or partisan. I believe we need a steady, consistent tax policy with two goals: generating steady and adequate current tax revenues and maximizing economic growth.

  25. Brian Opsahl

    How would you know that you have been paying more in taxes since you were 30 years old…Sir, and why would you even say that…!! for a Supposed Doctor you sure are dumb with the draw…I do pretty well and at 30 years old I was certified to do welding on the Space Shuttle maybe you heard of that….in fact there is my welds and assemblys flying over your head as i write this…Today im working on something that is National Security Critical….so don’t try and play that game of gotcha with me….I pay all my taxes and don’t complain…you know why…? because I live in the greatest Nation in the World and I love my Country ….all of it, NOT just some of it….!!

  26. “I pay all my taxes and don’t complain…you know why…? because I live in the greatest Nation in the World and I love my Country ….all of it, NOT just some of it….!!”

    That’s funny, me too.

  27. Brian Opsahl

    Most of your writings say otherwise…Doc..!! ..Just sayin I can read

  28. No, most of my other writings say that our problem is not a tax problem, it is partly a revenue problem and largely a spending problem.

    I have said numerous times here before that I happily pay my taxes now and will happily pay a small increase in taxes IF the goverment (Democrats and Republicans) actually put a plan in place to DECREASE federal spending. Not a decrease in the rate of increase, but actually less spending by the government.

    I personally think we would be better off trying to fix our revenue problem by growing the economy. I personally think that increasing taxes on business and increasing regulation on business is not the best way to grow the economy.

    But we will see.

  29. Brian Opsahl

    The regulating business comment came straight from Fox doc…if you think Banks need less regulation I have a pill you need to take and a jacket to put on…Mr. Obama has cut the regulations that that get in the way of small businesses…give me a paticular one…Not just a statment…from Fox

  30. I already posted this on another thread today. Read the entire link.

    expdoc says:
    December 11, 2012 at 9:06 am
    This is a perfect example of why what is happening in Washington will NOT help our situation.

    Last week, Christine Jacobs, the CEO of Theragenics Corp., a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange that makes medical devices and is involved in cutting-edge cancer cures, wrote a letter to President Obama explaining why it was necessary to “begin moving our U.S. manufacturing to Costa Rica.” The power players in Washington still do not get that many businesses are being forced to flee America or just plain shut down because it is no longer profitable or too risky to continue to do business in the historical home of entrepreneurial capitalism


    Theragenics makes “medical devices for prostate cancer, vascular access and wound closure.” In her letter to Mr. Obama, Ms. Jacobs noted that her company has four factories in four states in the U.S., which employ 626 people. She stated: “In our 30-year history we have treated over 200,000 men for prostate cancer, and we have been proud of our workforce and proud to have treated so many dads, brothers and husbands for cancer. As a public company we have fallen prey to the heavy burden of being public with increased expenses associated with [Sarbanes Oxley] and now Dodd Frank.” She also reminded the president that she had written to him back in 2009, when she stated, “We were paying about $8,000 per employee per year to be public and comply with the new Dodd Frank regulations. That money could be better spent on jobs and expansion.”

    Under Obamacare, there is a new tax specifically on the gross revenue of medical device manufacturers. Most people (outside of Washington) understand that if we tax something, we get less of it. A higher tax on medical device manufacturers means fewer and more expensive medical devices that save lives, and less research and development to develop new and better devices. As Ms. Jacobs explains: “Our products are for people with prostate cancer, heart disease, breast cancer and orthopedic knee or hip surgeries. Our 626 employees’ futures are now uncertain. The cost of regulation, legislation and now the Device Tax have provided an atmosphere that is close to untenable.”

    Ms. Jacobs, who started out as a nurse with a passion for science, has headed Theragenics Corp. for the past two decades. She is a classic entrepreneur, an all-American woman, who likes to hunt, fish and go to the symphony. She serves on the boards of many civic institutions and other organizations. Now, having built a successful company that competes in the global marketplace, she is being forced by ignorant and misguided legislators and regulators to move operations outside of the United States. She concluded her letter to the president: “Our 30-year-old company has done all our country has asked of it and has been punished. I am immensely sad at this writing.”

    The Washington statists love to talk about how compassionate they are and how we need to “give” them more of our money and be regulated by their wisdom. In fact, they misspend our money every day to feather their own nests and curry favor with media sycophants. Most of those members of Congress who voted for the additional tax on medical device manufacturers did not do so to deliberately cause excess deaths and job losses. By failing to think through the consequences of their actions, however, they were engaged in “willful negligence,” which is a felony when not committed by those in government. In this case, they were clearly engaged in the ultimate “fatal conceit” as described by the great economist and philosopher F.A. Hayek. America is stagnant because we are punishing and pushing out the Christine Jacobses and rewarding those who work in the regulatory and taxing agencies and their enablers. We ought to be doing the opposite.

  31. Even though I consider my self a conservative, Hannity’s constant broken record of bashing everything the democrats and Obama do is getting old. Lets be honest, GW Bushs last two years was a disaster for conservatives, yet it was ignored at the time by Hannity and his mentor Rush Limbaugh.

  32. Brian Opsahl

    Holy Crap….A republican thats admitting the truth about Fox…Thank You Mailman !! I can respect a guy who speaks the truth…Sir !! again Thank You. so many folks are putting there heads in the sand about Fox, If MSNBC or any other news program lied I would never watch …just on princable.

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