Cable News Wars: Blood On The Floor

Networks are hemorrhaging viewers …

We do not watch cable news. Aside from the occasional snippet posted online, we completely ignore the medium.


Because cable news is invariably nothing more than people yelling at each other … sponsored noise. That should come as no surprise considering all of the networks are heavily invested in driving corporate agendas. And facilitating discord. And perpetuating the false “red versus blue” narrative – a.k.a. the presumption that there is an ocean’s width of difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Is there? Not on the dollars and cents issues that matter … hell, even U.S. president Donald Trump is part of the problem.

But if you are looking for hackneyed talking points, bromidic platitudes, approved streams of conformist thought and all manner of intellectual dishonesty/ misology … then by all means tune into Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.

You will get your fill …

If, on the other hand, you are looking for a real, fact-based debate on the issues – hosted on open platforms by people who are willing to hear others out and admit when they are wrong – then cable news is not going to be for you.

This week, new cable news ratings highlighted the ongoing decline of the medium – while affirming the supremacy of Fox atop the shrinking pile.

According to Nielsen, Fox drew an average of 2.4 million prime time viewers during the month of April – which is exactly what it drew during the preceding April. In other words, its audience is stagnant.


As for CNN, the über-liberal network wishes it were treading water. Nielsen showed it averaging 767,000 prime time viewers last month – down from 1.04 million last April. That is a decline of 26 percent.

Meanwhile, MSNBC saw its prime time audience decline from 1.93 million to 1.66 million – a 14 percent drop-off.

Amongst the 25 to 54-year-old demographic, which is the one advertisers pay big bucks to reach, all three networks are hemorrhaging viewers. Fox posted 389,000 viewers in this critical age range – down 19.4 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile MSNBC had 255,000 (down 35.9 percent from the previous year) and CNN had 198,000 (down 41.1 percent from the previous year).

Collectively, the three networks went from 1.2 million prime time 25 to 54-year-old viewers a year ago to 842,000 last month – a decline of 30.8 percent.

Our view on these numbers? Simple: The marketplace is speaking …

People are done with the “all in” acrimony, and increasingly in search of news sources that deliver something beyond shrill hyperbole and predictable partisanship.

Well, that and younger viewers are continuing to “cut the cord” as older viewers, well … die.

Bottom line? It is going to get worse for these networks (including Fox News) before it gets better.

And we cannot say we are disappointed by that development …



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