Good news, via press release:
MSNBC continued its ratings surge last week, with viewers flocking out of the "No Spin Zone" and to "The Place for Politics." For the first time ever, MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" was the #1 show at 8 p.m., out-drawing Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor" head-to-head among Adults 25-54. This is the first time since June 2001 that MSNBC has out-rated "The O'Reilly Factor" at 8 p.m.
Excluding Tuesday's primary coverage, "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" averaged 477,000 A25-54 vs. 472,000 for the "Factor."
MSNBC also out-drew Fox News Channel for the week in primetime (June 2-8, M-F, 8-11 p.m.), averaging 496,000 Adults 25-54 vs. 449,000. This is the first time MSNBC beat FNC for the week in primetime since Feb. 25, 2008, when MSNBC telecast exclusive coverage of the Democratic candidates debate. Prior to that, the last time MSNBC beat FNC in primetime was the week of July 30, 2001.
The 25-54 demographic is the holy grail of programming, as it's that group that buys stuff, hence making them valuable to advertisers. Including all viewers, O'Reilly's elderly audience still likely swamps Olbermann. But even on that front, Olbermann has been chipping away.
It's clear that Fox News isn't immune to the conservative malaise spreading through the land.
And it's also clear that Olbermann is one of the chief beneficiaries of the progressive wave sweeping the land.
Memo to MSNBC -- get Rachel Maddow her own show NOW. Could you imagine her leading into Olbermann? That would be programming gold.