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MSNBC beats Fox in cable rankings: Have They lost their dominance?

President Trump ascended to the White House in part because of his ability to command the cable news universe, dominate headlines, and control the country’s narrative.

But according to new cable news ratings numbers, MSNBC has surpassed Fox in viewership, the president’s preferred network.

According to Nielsen numbers provided by MSNBC: 

MSNBC capped off its 3rd consecutive record ratings year as the #1 cable news network in prime (M-F 8-11pm) for December, according to Nielsen. December to-date (11/26-12/17), MSNBC prime was #1 in both A25-54 and total viewers. December marked the 1st month ever in which MSNBC prime beat both FOX News and CNN in A25-54 and total viewers, averaging 438K viewers A25-54 (vs. CNN’s 362K and FOX News’ 407K) and 2.51M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 1.3M and FOX News’ 2.47M). “The Rachel Maddow Show” at 9 pm was the #1 show across all cable news for December, averaging 573K viewers A25-54 (vs. CNN’s 375K and FOX News’ 424K) and 3.1M total viewers (vs. CNN’s 1.3M and FOX News’ 2.7M). “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” at 10 pm and “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” at 11 pm also won their hours in both A25-54 and total viewers.

Liberal blogs claim MSNBC’s success is in part based on their refusal to air or discuss the president’s content on Twitter without fact-checking them, to air live coverage of Trump’s rallies, or to air televised White House press briefings by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Fox, meanwhile, has a had a tough few weeks with a boycott of Tucker Carlson for some politically incorrect comments about immigrants.

Overall, a worrying trend is a demographic one: MSNBC is the fastest-growing Top 10 cable network among total viewers, while Fox’s audience ages. The cable news present may give indications to the near future. 

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