Fox News Tops May Ratings, But Viewership Declines Across All Networks

Fox News topped the ratings in key categories during the month of May, but cable news overall saw significant declines from the same period a year earlier.

The trendline across cable news in recent months has been downward versus 2020, when a presidential election and a worsening Covid-19 pandemic gripped the country. By contrast, this past May saw the lifting of Covid restrictions and a gradual return to in person events. There’s also the simple matter of political fatigue, as Americans take a break from the whirlwind of the Donald Trump presidency.

In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.17 million viewers, down 37% from the same period a year earlier; MSNBC posted 1.49 million, down 22%; and CNN drew 913,000, down 45%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News had 345,000, down 38%, followed by CNN with 218,000, down 53%, and MSNBC with 199,000, falling 32%

In total day, Fox News topped total viewers with 1.19 million, down 37% from the same month a year earlier. MSNBC averaged 835,000 viewers, down 28%, and CNN posted 610,000, down 44%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News was at 203,000, down 38%, followed by CNN with 147,000, off by 51%, and MSNBC with 108,000, down 39%.

A bright spot for Fox News continued to be Gutfeld!, which debuted in early April at 11 PM ET as an alternative to left-leaning late night hosts. Gutfeld! averaged 1.47 million viewers, beating other shows across on cable at that hour and improving on the previous occupant of the timeslot, Fox News @ Night. The network also has been promoting that Gutfeld! has had a higher viewership than other late night cable talk shows and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, which averaged 1.42 million. The caveat: Gutfeld! runs at 8 PM on the West Coast.

Tucker Carlson Tonight topped cable news in total viewers, averaging 2.94 million, followed by Hannity with 2.63 million, The Five at 2.63 million, The Rachel Maddow Show with 2.52 million and The Ingraham Angle with 2.06 million. In the adults 25-54 demo, Tucker Carlson Tonight averaged 478,000, followed by Hannity with 416,000, The Five at 369,000, The Ingraham Angle with 356,000 and The Rachel Maddow Show drawing 349,000.

The figures are from Nielsen via Fox News, and are Live plus same day figures.

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