This past year was another very good one for the Fox News Channel, which continued its dominance of cable news (in January FNC will have been the #1 cable news channel for 10 years in a row).

The Associated Press, in reporting on the most recent Nielsen ratings, points out that FNC’s average viewership exceeded CNN and MSNBC combined, both in prime time and for the entire day. Fox typically had 1.87 million viewers in prime time this year. The top 13 programs in cable news all aired on Fox. And Fox was the only cable news network to place in the top 10 list of cable channels in both prime time and entire day.

Fox’s ratings lead may well extend in 2012, given both the forthcoming GOP primary race and presidential election. And one day years from now, when political passions cool and his achievements are put in perspective, Roger Ailes will be seen as one of the most significant journalistic figures of the last half-century. He is the man who is most responsible for shattering the monopoly on television news. It’s little wonder he and his network inspire rage in some liberal quarters. And there’s little doubt it bothers Ailes not at all.

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