For the nation’s top-rated cable news network, there’s no such thing as bad controversy.
Fox News Channel dominated the cable ratings in August even outside its traditional news network zone, according to Nielsen numbers. With the help of the Republican presidential primary debate and the ensuing controversy between GOP front-runner Donald Trump and Fox star Megyn Kelly helping Fox to its second month this year as the No. 1 ranked basic cable network in both day and night programming.
Among cable news networks, Fox’s dominance is unquestioned. August was the 164th consecutive month at No. 1 for Fox.
The Aug. 6 prime time debate of 10 Republican contenders for the Republican presidential nomination was the highest rated program in Fox News history. And of course, the memorable exchange between Trump and Kelly spilled over into the political news cycle for days afterward, which only helped keep the ratings aloft.
The constant headlines helped Kelly’s “The Kelly File,” which averaged 2.75 million viewers nightly, according to Nielsen – and the highest ratings for the month among cable network news shows in the target demographic. That included about 566,000 viewers in the key demographic of adults aged 25 to 54, and gave Kelly her second month leading in the demographic since the show debuted in 2013.
(The 11 p.m. special she hosted the night of the debate was no doubt a major factor in the August ratings boost.)
It wasn’t just Kelly, though. August was a solid month for Fox stars across the board. Bill O’Reilly and “The O’Reilly Factor” led again in total viewers – about 3 million nightly – while Sean Hannity’s “Hannity” had its highest-rated month ever with an average of 1.8 million viewers nightly and Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record” averaged 1.96 million viewers.
“Special Report with Bret Baier” has been No. 1 for 80 months in its 6 p.m. Eastern Time slot, while “The Five” is in its 50th month at No. 1 at 5, according to Nielson.
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