Fox News Continues to Dominate Cable News Ratings

Network has seven of the 10 highest-rated shows in 2018, led by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham

by Brendan Kirby | Updated 09 Feb 2018 at 8:24 PM

Fox News Channel is still the dominant news operation on cable.

Led by the conservative-leaning lineup of prime-time hosts, Fox boasts seven of the 10 highest-rated news shows on cable so far this year.

Sean Hannity has averaged 3.48 million viewers since the start of the year, making him the top dog. Tucker Carlson has ranked second, with 3.22 million viewers, and LifeZette founder Laura Ingraham has been in fourth, with an average of 2.76 million viewers.

That one-two-three punch has been interrupted only by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, whose 3.05 million average is good for third place overall.

The numbers suggest that Fox has recovered quite nicely from a tumultuous 2017 that saw the network completely reconfigure its lucrative prime-time lineup.

Longtime ratings king Bill O’Reilly departed in April amid multiple sexual harassment allegations. That came three months after rising star Megyn Kelly jumped the network for a gig at NBC. And in September 2016, Greta Van Susteren left the network.

That turnover offered an opening to Fox’s competitors. Maddow, especially, benefited from enraged liberals eager for programming critical of President Donald Trump. She was finishing some days as the most-watched cable news personality.

Since Trump’s State of the Union address, however, Fox has kicked it into high gear.

According to adweek.com, the network drew a record-breaking 11.7 million viewers for Trump’s speech. For the week, Fox topped all channels on basic cable with an average of 3.9 million viewers in prime time — roughly double MSNBC, which finished number two.

Related: Fox Bets on Humor and Conflict as It Enters a New Era

Adweek noted that Fox finished up 19 percent in total prime-time viewers and 1 percent in total viewers compared to the same week a year ago. It also won the key demographic of adults aged 25 to 54, which advertisers covet.

For all of 2018, the rest of the top 10 after the trio of Fox hosts and Maddow are “Special Report with Bret Baier,” “The Five,” “The Story” with Martha McCallum, “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” “All In with Chris Hayes,” and “Fox and Friends.”

All are Fox shows except those hosted by O’Donnell and Hayes.

PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

(photo credit, homepage images: Tucker Carlson, CC BY-SA 3.0, by Gage Skidmore / Sean Hannity, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore ; photo credit, article images: Tucker Carlson, CC BY 2.0, by Mark Taylor / Sean Hannity, CC BY-SA 3.0, by Gage Skidmore)

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