Speed Reads

Cable news

Trump has given a big boost to cable news, and not just the network he likes

When it comes to cable news, President Trump is a rising tide that lifts all boats. "Beneficiaries include both the network he likes (Fox News Channel) and those he hates/threatens (everyone else)," Deadline reports. CNN, one of Trump's favorite targets, posted its highest ratings ever in total and total day viewership and notched its second-most-watched primetime year since 2008. For the first time since 1995, the original cable news network cracked the Top 10 of all basic cable channels, ranking No. 7 overall, No. 10 in primetime, and No. 5 in total day viewership.

If it was a good year for CNN, it was a great one for MSNBC. Its primetime viewership jumped by 51 percent in Trump's first year, including 37 percent in the key 25-54 demographic. MSNBC ranked No. 3 in primetime among cable networks and also in total day viewership. Rachel Maddow was the network's biggest ratings draw, though with an average of 2.5 million viewers she was still more than a million behind Fox News' Sean Hannity, with nearly 3.2 million viewers (Hannity and Maddow tied in the 18-49 demographic). Fox News was, for a second year running, the No. 1 basic cable network in primetime and total day viewers.

CNN has one more point of pride it highlighted: Its viewers are younger. The median age of CNN's total day viewers in 2017 was 60, versus 65 for Fox News and MSNBC. ("Yes, FNC's median age is the same as MSNBC's," Deadline notes.) And in primetime, CNN's median viewer was 59, versus the 66-year-old median viewer at Fox and MSNBC's 65. Maybe the kids like fruit. Peter Weber