MSNBC president Phil Griffin described 2014 as a "difficult year" for the cable news networks and the year-end results bore that out, as MSNBC, Fox News and CNN were all down in nearly every single measure from last year.
Fox News Channel pushed its winning streak in total viewers and the adults 25-54 news demo to 13 years. Through Dec. 22, Fox News drew 1.75 million total viewers and 300,000 among the demo in primetime. The total viewer count was down slightly — thought FNC expects that to change once the last few weeks of 2014 are included — but the demo total was up 2%, one of the only measures to see an increase from last year.
CNN came in second in primetime in the demo with 181,000 (down 1%) and third among total viewers with 515,000 (down 9%). MSNBC was second in total viewers with 589,000 (down 8%) and third in the demo with 169,000 (down 17%).
Every network was down in total day, with Fox News leading the pack in both total viewers with 1.05 million and the demo with 213,000. CNN was second in both measures with 399,000 and 126,000, while MSNBC was third with 347,000 and 108,000, respectively.
For the 15th straight year, The O’Reilly Factor was the most watched cable news program with both total viewers (2.68 million) and the news demo (426,000). Megyn Kelly capped her strong first year in primetime by placing second (2.2 million total viewers; 374,000 in the demo) and was the only cable news program that was up from 2013 in both measures.
The Rachel Maddow Show was again MSNBC’s most-watched program with 843,000 viewers. For CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 was the most-watched regular program with 597,000 viewers; the docuseries The Sixties actually drew more, averaging 650,000 over its run.