Nellie Andreeva

First-quarter cable ratings were released today, and Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck had the steepest declines again among cable news programs. The show from the polarizing talk-show host, whose future at Fox News beyond this year is uncertain, drew 1.9 million viewers, down 30% from 1Q 2010, and 462,000 in the 25-54 demo, down 37%. Still, Beck dominated his 5 PM slot and ranked as the fourth top-rated cable news program. Overall, Fox News logged its 37th consecutive quarter win with an average of 1.9 million viewers in primetime. CNN and MSNBC were jockeying for second place. MSNBC (841,000 vs. 795,000) prevailed in total viewers, and CNN edged MSNBC in the demo.

On the broadcast news side, Katie Couric, who will likely exit CBS Evening News in June, saw her newscast slip a tiny bit year-to-year. It averaged 6.43 million viewers, 1.98 million in 25-54, down from 6.45 million and 2.02 million, respectively a year ago and a new all-time low for CBS Evening News.

Here are the cable news standings at 5 PM, first in total viewers and then the demo:

Slot          Show                    NET       2011     2010    2011    2010
M-F 5P-6P GLENN BECK         FNC      1,939    2,781     462      731
M-F 5P-6P SITUATION ROOM CNN         726      661     205      149
M-F 5P-6P HARDBALL            MSNBC    679       524     142       95
M-F 5P-6P SHOWBIZ TON.     HLN         180       213      71        86
M-F 5P-6P FAST MONEY         CNBC       216      249      46         55
*Viewers in thousands

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