Tuesday’s big revelations in the Trump-Russia scandal produced a predictable surge in cable-news ratings, with Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow getting the biggest bumps. Maddow was No. 1 for the day in the key news demographic of adults under 55, followed by Hannity (boosted by a POTUS-promoted interview with Donald Trump Jr.) and MSNBC’s The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell. But among all viewers, the flagship broadcasts of Fox News and MSNBC finished in a near-tie last night:
Hannity: 2.885 million
Maddow: 2.855 million
Hannity’s 10 p.m. broadcast edged out Maddow’s 9 p.m. hour by a statistically insignificant 30,000 pairs of eyeballs. Not doing all that well, relatively speaking? CNN.
While it did see its numbers go up from the night before, the network Donald Trump loves to hate finished a distant third Tuesday, behind MSNBC and Fox News. And in prime time (8–11 p.m.), CNN’s audience was either flat or down in all three hours versus the same night in 2016. Not that Fox News execs should be all that happy about their Tuesday performance, either, at least compared to the same night in 2016. While Hannity was way up versus last year (thanks, Don Jr.), Tucker Carlson and The Five were down sharply compared to their now-departed predecessors at 8 and 9 p.m., The O’Reilly Factor and The Kelly File. Indeed, Carlson’s liberal-baiting hour (2.35 million) pulled in one-third fewer viewers than O’Reilly (3.47 million) averaged a year ago, while also doing worse in the key demo. These numbers are just for one night, of course. Fox News remains a ratings powerhouse, even with MSNBC increasingly challenging its lead in the key news demo. And while CNN has been having a rough few weeks in the ratings, relative to recent highs, the news network is still up in 2017 versus 2016.