MSNBC Ratings Slip to Worst in Seven Years; Morning Joe Drops to Third Place

Morning Joe / Screenshot

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MSNBC had a terrible April in the ratings, with the liberal network falling to some of its lowest numbers in seven years and Morning Joe slipping to third place, the New York Times reports:

It was the second straight month that the new morning show on CNN, "New Day," topped the long-running "Morning Joe" among the viewers that determine advertising dollars for news programming, finishing second for the month. The Fox News entry, "Fox and Friends," as always, dominated the morning cable news ratings both among total viewers and those ages 25 through 54, the group that is the basis for news advertising.

The slide in ratings for MSNBC has clearly been tied to the lingering increase CNN is experiencing from its marathon coverage of the missing Malaysian airliner. Though CNN has backed off its blanket coverage, it still reports on the story virtually every hour. Some programs continue to be split about 50/50 between it and other news.

But since March 13, when the CNN plane coverage was ratcheting up, "Morning Joe," which has generally enjoyed wide attention in New York-based media, has found itself consistently behind the 10-month-old "New Day" on CNN. From that date, through last Friday "New Day" won 25 days to eight for "Morning Joe."

That wasn't the only bad news for the "Lean Forward" channel. MSNBC averaged a paltry 112,000 viewers for its total day coverage in April, its worst showing since May 2007. Perhaps the country didn't find its Chris Christie coverage as interesting as MSNBC's executives do.

As usual, Fox News dominated, averaging 988,000 for its total day coverage for the month. CNN had 431,000, and MSNBC just 362,000. The disparity was even greater in primetime:

Fox News averaged just fewer than two million viewers for a weeknight average. That was about three times the total audience for MSNBC, 710,000, and almost four times the audience for CNN, 564,000. Still, in April, CNN eked out second place among the 25-54 group, 200,000 viewers to 176,000 for MSNBC. Fox News was again well ahead, with 370,000.

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