For the first time in 17 years, MSNBC has snagged the No. 1 spot in prime time cable news.
The move in May to the top spot in the weekday prime time ratings among the coveted 25-to-54 age demographic, The New York Times reports, is mainly thanks to network host Rachel Maddow and her show, The Rachel Maddow Show. The liberal anchor and the network as a whole has benefited from a time of great anxiety and unrest on America’s political left in the era of President Donald Trump. What’s more, MSNBC has been doing well with that key 25-to-54 age demographic. In May, the Times reports, it beat its rivals for the highest prime time viewership on weeknights in that age demographic. That’s up 118% from a year earlier.
Nielsen ratings show that Fox News still remained the top cable news channel during primetime in overall viewers, and in total day viewership. And in daytime ratings, however, MSNBC is still ranked No.3. But its morning and afternoon audience is growing rapidly. In May, total viewership between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. almost doubled from the year before, the Times reports, far outpacing the growth of rivals Fox News and CNN.