September 1st, 2015
01:20 PM ET

CNN ranks #2 in cable news, "New Day" tops "Morning Joe" in demo for August



New Day Beats Morning Joe for 14th Straight Month;

Joe Finishes Last in Cable News in Demo Again, Behind HLN and CNN 

State of the Union with Jake Tapper is Up vs. A Year Ago 

CNN Original Series Rank Either #1 or #2 in Time Period

For the 14th straight month, CNN was the #2 cable news network in August among adults 25-54 in both Total Day and Primetime. That is the longest winning streak over MSNBC in the key sales demo in over seven years.

CNN was also #2 among total viewers, ahead of MSNBC, in Total Day (6a-6a). Buoyed by its coverage of the Republican primary debate, Fox News was the only cable news network to grow in August versus a year ago among both adults 25-54 and total viewers. CNN’s viewing levels were down compared to last year because of heightened viewership during the unrest a year ago in Ferguson.

Of particular note, CNN’s morning program, New Day, continued to beat MSNBC’s Morning Joe. For the 14th straight month, New Day topped Morning Joe in the all-important 25-54 sales demo. In fact, Morning Joe again fell to last place among all cable news morning programs in the sales demo, behind Fox News, CNN and HLN’s Morning Express.

In other ratings news in August:

Dayside & Afternoons:

  • All CNN’s dayside (9a-4p) programs beat MSNBC dayside in both total viewers (CNN’s 472k vs. MSNBC’s 315k) and in the key demo (CNN’s 111k vs. MSNBC’s 53k).
  • MSNBC made a change to its weekday afternoons on Mon 8/3/15, replacing cancelled programs The Cycle at 3p, Now with Alex Wagner at 4p, and Ed Show at 5p with MSNBC Live.  In the M-F 3p-6p block over the four weeks since its launch (8/3-8/28/15), MSNBC Live:
    • Ranked #3 among both adults 25-54 and total viewers across cable news in its time period.
      • CNN (3p CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin/4p The Lead with Jake Tapper/5p Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer) more than doubled MSNBC Live in adults 25-54 (+163%) and is ahead by +36% in total viewers.
    • MSNBC was down double-digit percentages among adults 25-54 versus the prior-to-launch four weeks and the comparable year-ago four weeks.


  • All of CNN’s primetime beat MSNBC in the key demo 25-54:
    • Across the M-F 7p (Erin Burnett Outfront), 8p (AC 360), 9p (CNN programming) and 10p (CNN Tonight with Don Lemon) hours among adults 25-54 for the 13th straight month.
    • In the M-F 8p hour (AC 360) among total viewers for the third time in the last four months.


  • State of the Union with Jake Tapper ranked #2 in cable news at 9am growing double-digits in total viewers vs. a year ago.  SOTU also ranked #2 at noon.
  • CNN Sunday programs Inside Politics, Fareed Zakaria GPS at 10am and Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter all ranked #2 in total viewers and adults 25-54, easily topping MSNBC.  Fareed Zakaria GPS ranked #1 in cable news among adults 25-54 at 1pm.

CNN Original Series and CNN Films:

  • CNN Original Series and CNN Films highlights include:
    • The Seventies (6/11-8/13/15):  Ranked #2 across cable news in its time period among adults 25-54, total viewers, and 18-34.  Versus The Sixties average, above by +20% in 25-54 and +4% in 18-34, and attracted a younger audience.
    • The Hunt with John Walsh Season 2 (7/12-8/30/15): Across cable news in its time period, ranked #1 among both 25-54 and 18-34, and #2 in total viewers.
    • Death Row Stories Season 2 (7/12-8/16/15): Across cable news in its time period, ranked #1 among both 25-54 and total viewers, and #2 in 18-34.  Above its Season 1 average by +15% in 25-54 and +5% in total viewers.
    • CNN Films: Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie (Thu 8/20/15): Across cable news in its time period, the premiere ranked #2 among both adults 25-54 and 18-34.

Data is a blend of Nielsen Live+SD and the more inclusive Live+3 and final Live+7 data when available.


Topics: CNN
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