The MSNBC host is widening her ratings lead over Donald Trump's favorite Fox News cheerleader.
Building on her late 2017 ratings momentum, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow continues to extend her lead over Fox News’ Sean Hannity during the closely watched 9 p.m. hour.
In fact, based on the most recent ratings data, Maddow has defeated Hannity every weeknight this year among viewers 25-54, the demographic most sought after by advertisers.
That thorough whipping comes despite the fact that Donald Trump himself went on Twitter this year and urged his followers to tune into Hannity’s program.
It didn’t work.
The unfolding 2018 ratings sweep for MSNBC marks a sharp contrast to just a few months ago when Hannity, having moved from the 10 p.m. time slot to 9 p.m., routinely drew a larger audience than Maddow.
Today Hannity, Trump’s most robotically loyal cable-news cheerleader, is not only trailing Maddow each night, but her lead has been expanding.
On the night of Jan. 2, Maddow edged Hannity by 30,000 viewers within the 25-54 demo. On Jan. 8, she won by 70,000 viewers. By Jan. 11, her lead expanded to 160,000. And by Jan. 12, her lead surged to 300,000 viewers.
The widening lead is part of a larger ratings surge for Maddow. Last week, she posted the best ratings her show has ever recorded as her show beat Hannity among 25-54 viewers, and among the larger all-viewer category, 3.1 million viewers vs. 2.8 million.
“With the president mired in shithole-gate, MSNBCs signature show last week scored its best ratings ever, attracting an average audience of 3.172 million viewers for its initial 9 p.m. ET live telecast,” reports The Cut.
“Boosted by Maddow, the NBC-owned networks progressive-leaning prime-time lineup beat both Fox News and CNN among all viewers and the demo last week,” according to The Cut.
Last year, MSNBCs unabashed liberal primetime lineup, featuring Chris Hayes, Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell, produced a stunning ratings success for the network, boosting its primetime viewership by nearly 50 percent compared to viewership during the 2016 campaign cycle. MSNBC finished the year with its largest daily audience since the network debuted in 1996.
And in terms of the entire cable television spectrum, “MSNBC finished 2017 as the third-most-watched basic cable network,” Adweek reports, “only behind powerhouses Fox News and ESPN.”
Meanwhile, Fox News is undoubtedly scrambling. If the channel’s highest-profile host falls into permanent second place position this year, and trails a vocal Trump critic, that would be a major professional embarrassment for Fox News and for its biggest fan.