Fox News Dominates Year-End Ratings, But Isn’t Only News Network to Grow

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Joy Behar, one of HLN's rising stars. Photo: Patrick McMullan

Though final Nielsen numbers for the year will not be in, obviously, until the year actually ends, a quick scan of the ratings through mid-December indicates that the final numbers will be unsurprisingly cheered by Fox News, and pretty much Fox News only. They're up in total weekday viewership by 6 percent, and are up in the 25–54 demo even more. As noted by the Times earlier this month, the news is almost altogether bad for CNN. They're down 32 percent from last year in total weekday viewership, and are set to finish the fourth quarter of 2009 in fourth place for the first time, behind Fox, MSNBC, and their own HLN. (Unless maybe everyone in America tunes in to watch Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin's New Year's special, which they probably should be doing anyway.) HLN isn't just performing well against its sagging parent network: Hidden behind the big boom at Fox, the tiny offshoot of CNN has grown in every major category. They're up in total viewers and the 25–54 demo, both prime time and daytime. If the success of Fox's opinion/journalism formula weren't proof enough that CNN's dogged pursuit of even-handed journalism isn't going to get them anywhere, maybe they'll at least look at HLN's model. After all, they do call it "CNN's 'News and Views' Network."