Among the lowlights were the worst showings yet by its leading program The Rachel Maddow Show, with 43 percent and 47 percent drops in total viewers and the 25-54 demographic, respectively, and 40- and 42-percent drops in the same areas for The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell.
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8 p.m.'s All In With Chris Hayes, whose host acknowledged in a New Yorker article that his ratings are "bad right now," was down 48 percent and 42 percent in total and the 25-54 demo from the same hour last year:
The ratings for August 2013 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):
Primetime (Mon-Sun): 520,000 Total Viewers / 173,000 A25-54
Total Day (Mon-Sun): 348,000 Total Viewers / 119,000 A25-54
Compared to August 2012, MSNBC was down -28% in total viewers and -32% in the A25-54 demographic in total day and -36% and -32%, respectively, in primetime. MSNBC was the only cable channel to see viewership growth last August, thanks in part to live coverage from the Olympics.
"Morning Joe" was down -9% in total viewers and -17% in the A25-54 demographic compared to the same month last year, which actually was a better result than many of the programs that came later in the day.
In primetime, "The Rachel Maddow Show" posted all-time low ratings in total and demo viewers, down -43% and -47%, respectively. "The Last Word" posted a low in total viewers, losing -40% of its total viewer audience and -42% of its demo audience. at 8 PM, "All In" was down -48% and -42% in total and demo viewers, respectively, placing behind CNN for the hour.
In dayside, MSNBC was down double digits in pretty much every hour in total and demo viewers, including 6 PM’s "PoliticsNation," which was down -31% and -37% in total and demo viewers, and 3 PM’s "The Cycle," which was down -15% and -18% in total and demo viewers. One of the few programs to improve year to year was "The Ed Show" on Saturday and Sunday, which was up both days in total viewers, and in the demo on Saturday. This may help explain why the channel replaced the 5 PM edition of "Hardball" with the former weekend program.