Fox News finds itself in unaccustomed spot _ out of first

Fox News finds itself in unaccustomed spot _ out of first

Meanwhile, Fox News Channel came in third, with an average of 497K viewers in the key sales age bracket, including five consecutive nightly third-place finishes - its longest streak at No. 3 in the age bracket in 17 years.

The story is having the opposite effect at Fox News, where conservative commentators were more skeptical about the significance of the almost daily leaks related to Trump's handling of Comey's dismissal and reports that the president shared classified intelligence with Russian diplomats during a White House visit.

MSNBC's numbers were bolstered by a strong showing of "The Rachel Maddow Show", which finished as the most-watched non-sports programs for the week among all basic cable channels.

There are increasingly two separate realities to view in America right now, depending on whether you get your news from CNN, MSNBC, CBS etc or Fox News.

But it also comes shortly after the firing of star anchor Bill O'Reilly, as Fox is trying to establish a new prime-time lineup.

More news: Man Armed With Four Guns and Several Knives Arrested at Phoenix Comicon

MSNBC also ranked No. 1 in overall audience in primetime, averaging 2.437M viewers.

Rachel Maddow's red-hot show led MSNBC to victory last week in cable news. Eastern time with Tucker Carlson and moved its late-afternoon panel show "The Five" to 9 p.m., followed by "Hannity" at 10 p.m.

But Fox finished behind CNN and MSNBC among viewers ages 25 to 54, the demographic most important to advertisers who buy commercial time on the network. "It doesn't look like [Fox] has a plan", replied Mr O'Reilly, a ratings-topping Fox host, who was sacked last month after a wave of sexual-harassment allegations against him set off a boycott by advertisers.

About one month later, Fox News has a completely different news lineup, and the results thus far have been nothing short of disastrous. Added CNN's Brian Stelter, "This is an extraordinary moment in the cable news race". Audience ratings drive the subscriber fees and advertising rates that all three outlets charge, and being No. 1 for 15 years has made Fox News the most profitable channel at parent 21st Century Fox Inc.

It was uniquely bad timing for Fox. Fox's tone during those years was arguably less pro-Bush then than it is pro-Trump now, especially during the second term as conservatives grew more frustrated with the administration, which might hold some lessons for Fox now.

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