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NewsNation falls behind CNBC for midterm coverage

The logo of cable news channel NewsNation.
The logo of cable news channel NewsNation. (Image via Nexstar Media Group/Graphic by The Desk)

Executives at Nexstar Media Group’s NewsNation hoped the channel’s rolling coverage of midterm election results would serve as a proof of performance for what the fledgling cable news channel was capable of.

Unfortunately for them, most people chose to watch a different network Tuesday night.

Around 93,000 households watch NewsNation’s coverage of the midterm election in prime-time, according to finalized data released by Nielsen Media Group on Wednesday, placing the news channel behind CNBC and far behind any other news network on cable.

By comparison, around 115,000 people tuned in to CNBC’s coverage of the midterm election during that same time period, while another 629,000 watched the Fox Business Network, the data showed.

Overall, the Fox News Channel won the night, with over 7.4 million households watching the network’s prime-time coverage of the midterm election race, according to Nielsen. The figure was more than MSNBC and the NBC broadcast network combined, with Fox News Channel beating both by about 1 million viewers.

MSNBC came in second place among total viewership for a cable network, with 3.21 million tuning in during prime-time hours. CNN fell to third place with just over 2.6 million viewers, the first time the cable news network has ever placed behind MSNBC for a midterm election.

The ratings were particularly devastating for NewsNation, which often pulls in well over 100,000 overall viewers for its flagship current affairs program “Cuomo.” The show, hosted by former CNN commentator Chris Cuomo, grabbed 147,000 viewers for its debut show in early October, a number that dipped slightly before peaking at just under 200,000 viewers.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).