MSNBC returned to its perch in second place behind Fox News for the second quarter of 2011, beating CNN among the key group of viewers 25-54 in prime time. MSNBC averaged 273,000 viewers 25-54 in prime, compared to CNN’s 234,000. Fox News easily held on to its ranking as the number one network in cable news in the period, with 413,000 viewers 25-54 in prime. Fox’s win was made easy by having all of the top five cable news programs (viewers 25-54): O’Reilly Factor (636,000 viewers), Hannity (501,000), Glenn Beck (413,000), On the Record (398,000) and the O’Reilly repeat at 11 p.m. (384,000).
Overall, Fox News has had 38 consecutive quarterly wins in terms of total viewers, and was strong enough to rank fourth among all cable channels. MSNBC, by comparison, ranked 26th and CNN placed 28th.