For the first month since CNN's Larry King owned cable news in October 2001, the most popular personality in prime-time doesn't work for Fox News Channel. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC is the new champ.
Her network achieved other milestones in July, including its closest finish to Fox since 2000 and largest margin of victory over CNN ever. The numbers illustrate a surge in popularity at MSNBC, where politics has become prime-time entertainment. As late-night comic Stephen Colbert can attest, having President Donald Trump as a regular punching bag is great for business.
"I thought there would be a lot of interest in news," said MSNBC President Phil Griffin. "I had no idea this would happen."
It's especially noteworthy because the year after an election traditionally signals a slump in cable-news ratings. During prime-time weekday hours in July, Fox News averaged 2.36 million viewers - still more than any other cable network, news or entertainment. MSNBC was at 2.13 million, and CNN at 961,000, according to the Nielsen company.