Cable News Ratings: Fox News, CNN Both Down Year-to-Year in Q3

23 Consecutive Quarters On Top for Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel and CNN lost ground in the third quarter of 2007 compared with the same period a year ago.

In total viewers CNN was down 9% (501,000 versus 549,000) and Fox News was down 10% (805,000 compared with 896,000). In primetime, CNN was down 6% (901,000 compared with 960,000) and Fox News was also down 6% in total viewers (1.601 million versus 1.711 million).

Fox has still spent 23 consecutive quarters as the top-rated news network.

CNN had some good news for the month of September for the 4 p.m. hour with a win in the 25-54 demo for The Situation Room over Fox News’Your World with Neil Cavuto (206,000 viewers versus 189,000). But it seems that at least some of CNN’s 8 p.m. audience may have migrated to MSNBC.

At 8 p.m., MSNBC’sCountdown with Keith Olbermann is up 73% in viewers and 56% in the demo while CNN has dropped 11% in total viewers (649,000 versus 728,000) compared with the third quarter of 2006. Time-slot leader The O’Reilly Factor was up 1% in total viewers with 2.1 million, easily winning the 8 p.m. hour.

But more interestingly, since Paula Zahn vacated her 8 p.m. time slot this summer, CNN has lost 3% of the cable news pie at 8 p.m. while MSNBC has gained 5%.