MSNBC saw across-the-board ratings gains for the month of October, vs. October 2014.
The network was up +26 percent in total day viewing and up +26% in prime time, among total viewers. The A25-54 demo growth was smaller: +4 percent for total day and +6 percent in prime time. MSNBC finished 3rd among total viewers and 4th in the demo, behind HLN, for total day viewing.
A news cycle that was heavy in politics certainly helped give MSNBC a boost. (It’s also the only big 3 news network not to host a primary debate.) Still, marquee shows were up double digits in viewers, including Morning Joe (+36 percent), Hardball with Chris Matthews (+16 percent), All In with Chris Hayes (+32 percent), The Rachel Maddow Show (+31 percent) and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell (+33 percent).
By contrast Fox News, which is still the cable news outlet to beat, saw an entirely different story:
Fox News Channel narrowly held on to win the A25-54 demo for the month of October, edging CNN by 1,000 viewers, or just .3 percent. (CNN got a boost from the first democratic debate). But unlike CNN and MSNBC, Fox News was down in the A25-54 demo vs. Oct. 2014: down -11 percent in total day and down -1 percent in prime time.
Now make no mistake Fox News is still crushing it, but they are not crushing it quite as completely as in years past, and as their demographic continues to die off around them we may in the near future see their numbers tumble into single digits.
And let's face it those numbers are not likely to rebound due to the fact that young people as a whole are completely turned off by Fox News, which was made apparent when Cornell University recently kicked them off campus.
Of course in the future ALL cable news outlets may find themselves scrambling for viewers as millennials are increasingly embracing a practice known as "cord cutting" in which they get all of their news, information, and entertainment over the internet and not through the traditional sources, or electronic devices, embraced by their parents.