MSNBC played a deft round of Hide the Weenie the day before 2014 cable news ratings came out, when it leaked to the LA Times a memo from its president Phil Griffin to staff, in which he navel lint gazed about how “technology is continuing to drive unprecedented changes across the media landscape.” In the memo, Griffin said the cable news nets need to “be taking a hard, honest look at how we need to evolve along with it” — as though technology was the biggest of MSNBC’s problems and the reason it’s winding up the year behind Fox News Channel and CNN.
But CNN will close out 2014 with some all-time ratings lows. In primetime, the network has delivered its worst-rated year in total viewers and its second-lowest in the news demo. In total day, CNN clocked its worst-rated year in the news demo. On the bright side, it will wrap 2014 ahead of MSNBC in the news demo; through December 22, MSNBC lost 17% of its primetime news demo viewers, clocking a worst-since-2005 169,000 of them.
CNN’s primetime news demo crowd — while bigger than that caribou herd, at 181,000 viewers — represents a 1% slide. Fox News Channel, meanwhile, is way out front with 302,000 primetime news demo viewers and, like the Porcupine Caribou Herd population, FNC’s population grew — by 3%.