Fox dominates January ratings led by Carlson, MacCallum

Fox dominates January ratings led by Carlson, MacCallum
© Getty Images

Fox News dominated the month of January, marking 15 straight years at the top of cable news ratings race, as Tucker Carlson finished with the No. 1 show in the advertiser-friendly younger demographic.

In the overall race to be No. 1 in all of cable, Fox averaged 1.8 million total viewers in January to top ESPN during a football-heavy month, according to Nielsen Research.

ESPN finished second, averaging 1.45 million viewers, with Nickelodeon, HGTV and Adult Swim rounding out the top five.

ADVERTISEMENT

On the cable news front, CNN averaged 791,000 viewers to finish eighth overall. MSNBC averaged 645,000 viewers to finish 13th.

In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.84 million viewers, with CNN coming in second with 1.164 million and MSNBC close behind with 1.160 million.

The days leading surrounding President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: WHCA picking non-comedian for headliner a 'good first step' Five takeaways from Mississippi's Senate debate Watergate’s John Dean: Nixon would tell Trump 'he's going too far' MORE's inauguration propelled cable news to a huge month overall.

For example, in the key 25-year-old to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers covet most in prime time, Fox averaged 547,000 viewers, a 52 percent jump over January 2016. CNN placed second with 366,000 viewers, up 45 percent. MSNBC was third with 257,000 viewers in the category, up 53 percent.

A piece of new Fox programming, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3.7 million viewers in the 9 p.m. time slot, a 50 percent jump from when the time slot was occupied by Megyn Kelly in January 2016. 

Martha MacCallum's “The First 100 Days,” averaged 3.5 million viewers since debuting on Jan. 9 and was up 79 percent compared to the same time slot last year, which was occupied by Greta Van Susteren's "On The Record."

Van Susteren is now with MSNBC at 6 p.m., hosting "For the Record."

Carlson finished No. 1 overall in the key demographic, with MacCallum second and "Hannity," "The O'Reilly Factor," and "The Five" rounding out the top five in cable.

Fox overtook CNN, which launched in 1980 and had long been dominant, in January of 2002. Fox began programming in 1996, along with MSNBC.