‘Canceled News Network’: CNN sheds nearly 90% of audience; Fox beats out ESPN as most watched cable network

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It turns out that anti-Trump hysteria and COVID-19 fearmongering might not be the best programming strategy for attracting and keeping an audience on cable news over the long term.

CNN, which ex-President Donald Trump memorably described as “very fake news,” continues to experience an enormous audience loss, while Fox News dominates as the most-viewed basic cable news channel, including, but not limited to, the first week of January.

According to The Wrap entertainment site, “Fox News finished off 2021 as the top-rated basic cable channel for the sixth straight year…It was the only cable network to deliver over 2 million total viewers in primetime and 1 million in total-day viewership for the year, on average.”

“Fox News Channel kicked off the new year as the No. 1 basic cable network from Jan. 3-9, 2022…CNN averaged 2.7 million viewers from Jan. 4-10 last year as the network experienced a brief post-election spike but plummeted to only 548,000 average viewers last week, for a stunning year-over-year drop of 80% of its total audience,” Fox News reported as the new year gets underway.

“During the same time periods, Fox News averaged 1.4 million total viewers last week for only a 15% drop compared to the first full week of 2021, when a jam-packed news cycle that included the Capitol riot ensued. Fox News has now outdrawn CNN and MSNBC combined for 21 straight weeks,” Fox News also triumphantly reported.

The Five” — which was originally conceived as a placeholder after the departure of Glenn Beck in 2011 — and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” lead the pack by far.

“‘The Five’ finished as the most-watched cable news offering last week, averaging 3.4 million viewers. ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ was the most-watched show among the demo, averaging 561,000 viewers in the critical category,” Fox added.

“Fox News averaged 1.6 million total viewers, 2.8 million during primetime and 449,000 among the primetime demo to crush CNN and MSNBC in all categories on the somber anniversary” of the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, FNC further detailed.

During the same time frame, MSNBC reportedly lost nearly 70 percent of its audience year-over-year.

Fox says it is even edging in on ESPN, which critics argue has devolved into a social justice advocacy network that broadcasts games from time to time.

CNN is also losing “bigly” in the age 25-54 group, a cohort alluded to above that advertisers believe purchases the most stuff and thus justifies commercial buys.

Obviously the viewing audience is extremely fragmented, especially with the trend toward cord-cutting, which is why FNC launched the Fox Nation streaming service and CNN is trying to do the same with CNN+ (although Beltway establishment mouthpiece Chris Wallace hardly seems a drawing card).

Fox News may have taken a temporary hit in some quarters when it rushed to call Arizona for Joe Biden in Election 2020. As highlighted above, it maintains its commanding position in cable news and cable generally.

Former FNC host Eric Bolling, however, has recently slammed Fox News as an “increasingly liberal network.”


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