MSNBC’s nearest competitor CNN has made major particularly strong gains in recent months.
For example, in May CNN was up 41% to a Nielsen-measured total day, total viewer average of 440,000. Fox News not only continues to maintain its dominating leadership, but it also improved in the month, adding 9% to 987,000 total average viewers.
Meanwhile, MSNBC continues to struggle -- down 9% for the May period to 301,000 average total day viewers. Even CNN sister network HLN has closed the gap on MSNBC -- gaining 6% in May to 256,000 total average daytime viewers.
Prime-time results don’t offer any better news for MSNBC -- it was down 14% to 470,000 total average viewers, putting it in third place to CNN, which was up a strong 42% to 587,000.
Fox remains well ahead, totaling more prime-time viewers than all other cable news networks combined. Fox gained 10% in the May to land at 1.64 million viewers.
Although Time Warner’s other news network, HLN, gained in total day viewership, it was down 9% in prime-time viewership to 292,000.
On Thursday, NBC decided to move the suspended Williams to MSNBC, leaving his post officially as anchor of “NBC Nightly News”; Lester Holt will now take over “Nightly News” as the show’s permanent anchor.
Williams was originally suspended after admitting to falsely claiming he had been in a helicopter that had been hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War.