Ratings for cable news for the month of May 2011, bring bad news for Fox News. In the key demographic group of 25-54 year-olds, Fox was alone in declining during the primetime hours.
This was a really bad month for Fox News which lost viewers in the demo for every primetime show. Bill O’Reilly dropped 9%, Sean Hannity dropped 6%, and Greta Van Susteren dropped 12%. These declines occurred while almost every primetime program for both CNN and MSNBC gained by double digits. The only good news for Fox is that Glenn Beck, which sunk 17% in the demo, has already been canceled so he can’t do too much more harm.
An interesting wrinkle in this book is that MSNBC was also the number one cable news network among 18-34 year-olds in primetime, with a 7% advantage over CNN and a 14% lead over Fox News. That is not a demo that gets much attention from an advertising point of view, but it signals an opportunity for future growth that the network can exploit. It also affirms the weakness of Fox among young viewers. That explains why Beck is so openly hostile to young people.