Fox News Ratings Fall Off A Cliff In 2011

In another example of the declining fortunes of the right-wing extremism propagated by conservative media and displayed so prominently by the GOP family of clowns competing for the Republican nomination for president, Nielsen has reported that the ratings for Fox News have taken a steep dive in 2011.

Fox News Ratings 2011

Of the three main cable news networks, Fox News is the only one that went down compared to their ratings in 2010. And a double-digit decline at that. FoxPods will, as usual, point out that Fox is still the top cable news network, but that is beside the point. Its audience is peeling away at a rapid rate and over time they will be unable to sustain their leading position. It is also important to put those numbers in context. While Fox is the #1 cable news network, they lag far behind the broadcast nets. In fact, the highest rated program on Fox (O’Reilly Factor) has about half the viewers of the lowest rated broadcast news program (CBS Evening news).

All three cable networks were impacted by extraordinary events that affected their ratings performance. CNN was helped by breaking news stories like the death of Osama Bin Laden and the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis. Because CNN has the best developed network of international bureaus, viewers frequently turn to CNN for major breaking news events.

MSNBC was hurt by the loss of Keith Olbermann and numerous schedule shakeups, but still managed to land in positive territory. Fox, of course, lost a notorious personality in Glenn Beck, but that likely kept Fox from declining even more than they did. Beck’s ratings were in free fall and dropped 37% between January and his sign-off in June. His replacement, “The Five,” has held pretty steady since its debut.

The fall of Fox News is striking evidence of the shift in the nation’s attitudes toward the ultra-conservative philosophy advanced by Fox and their brazenly biased facilitators. For Fox to be alone in decline in a year that includes a Republican-only primary campaign is a devastating indictment of the network and the propaganda tactics they employ.

2012 will provide a more diverse range of electoral news as the general election takes shape and Democrats are included in the story arc. That is not likely to boost Fox’s ratings position, but it will probably inflame their rhetoric and result in even more divisive attacks and demonstrations of derangement. Hold on to your hats, America.


28 thoughts on “Fox News Ratings Fall Off A Cliff In 2011

  1. I could not be more happy to hear Fox News going down the toilet where they belong People are so tired of the fake false divisive information off that network an the deliberate fake information
    Yes I would say things are really looking up!

  2. The only source given applies to CNN and MSNBC. There is no source to support the claim that Fox News is down 16% (as much as I would like it to be). How can I take this article seriously, and more importantly, how can I forward it on?

    • Read it again. You will see this line: “Primetime: CNN is up +30% (FNC down -16%, MSNBC up 2%).”

      • Ah yes. There it is. Thanks for pointing this out. I need all the ammo I can get when talking to the nutjob righties I deal with.

  3. This is why bloggers should not get the same respect as actual journalists.

    “While Fox is the #1 cable news network, they lag far behind the broadcast nets. In fact, the highest rated program on Fox (O’Reilly Factor) has about half the viewers of the lowest rated broadcast news program (CBS Evening news)”

    Yeah. Nice facts. And? ALL cable networks tend to get less viewers than broadcast networks. Know why? This is gonna come as a shock, but not everyone has cable. Everyone does, however, have access to broadcast, so yes CBS news gets higher ratings than O’Reilly. And nearly every other show on cable TV!

    Worse, you mention the fact that Fox News is still the number 1 cable news network, then dismiss that fact, absurdly claiming that if they lose viewers like this, the others will beat them in time. Except, that’s not how things tend to work. CNN can’t make up a deficit of 4 million viewers per show by hoping Fox loses viewers- Fox would have to lose 90% of its current audience, which isn’t going to happen.

    It should be noted that even the 2AM repeat of OReilly (the third repeat of his show) consistently gets higher ratings than the first runs of shows on both CNN and MSNBC. Which you also neglect to mention.

    CNN, as reported today, saw in 2011 it’s lowest numbers EVER outside its numbers in 2010. So, what you missed (or chose not to mention) is that CNN is only up 30% from last year (aka, CNN is up 30% from it’s lowest ratings IN HISTORY). Big whoop.

    • First of all, my remarks on the difference between cable and broadcast were meant only to provide context (as I said explicitly), not to explain the ratings disparity. Pay attention. (By the way, non-broadcast viewer penetration – i.e. cable, satellite, etc. – exceeds 90% of American households).

      Secondly, your math skills are abysmal. Fox declined 16% while CNN increased 30%. If that trend continues CNN will outperform Fox in two years. It’s a switch of only 700k viewers. Your assertion that CNN would have to make up a 4 million viewer deficit is delusional. Fox averaged only 1.8 million total viewers in 2011. O’Reilly doesn’t even have 4 million viewers (closer to 2 1/2 mil).

      Your defense of Fox is precisely what I anticipated above with my FoxPod reference. No one is disputing that Fox is currently the #1 cable news net, but they are suffering deep declines. Whether you want to admit it or not, that’s a bad thing.

      • Hey Ted if Fox is number one, explain how come Obama still beat their candidates in a landslide? Don’t rely on those ratings because you will get disappointed again in 2012.

    • “This is why bloggers should not get the same respect as actual journalists”

      So, why are you here?

      And name a real journalists on Fox. You see, real journalists care that the information they report is acurate, relevant and have real sources to give them credibility; not “some would say” or “others have said”.
      Being on TV does not make one a journalist. Beck and Billo are examples of that. Journalist will make corrections as soon as they realize a mistake has been made because their reputations depend on it or people will stop watching or listening or visiting their favorite blogs. How many times do you see Fox making any corrections when obvious mistakes are made or are brought to their attention? They are not interested in doing so. It’s no wonder their ratings are falling.
      Also, remember Fox is the only TV organization catering to the right side of the political spectrum. All the other cable entities split the number of viewers who are not right wing viewers.

    • Sorry but it’s Nielsen ratings sir. All of them have cable and the box sends back the information on what they are watching. So the claim that it’s based on people not having cable is a mute point. In fact it would just further the strength of the articles point.

  4. Hey Ted, stop confusing these loons with facts. It hurts their brains.

    • See my response above and take an Advil.

    • Hey Dave, don’t you have some pizza to deliver?

  5. Mark, this encouraging post inspired my haiku entry in Rude Pundit’s yearly event. Here it is:

    Twenty eleven
    Year of voters catching on
    To the cons’ cheap tricks.

    This assumes a connection between the successful pushback against many of the Republicans’ worst agenda items in referendums (da?) and elsewhere and FOX’s declining viewership. Sooner or later fooling people runs straight into the law of diminishing returns.

  6. How long will it take before fox is no longer on the air?

  7. The other thing no one ever mentions is the reason FNC has such high ratings. Because they blatantly play to one political demographic and do so in such an incredibly biased manner, they get ALL of that demographic. Everyone else splits their viewership.

    • Totally agree. That’s why Obama won in a landslide.

    • That’s also why they don’t change anyone’s minds about anything. In other words, Fox News does not flip enough people to matter, maybe if they existed in the 1970’s, but not when there’s a nearly infinite supply of information from all around the planet at everyone’s fingertips. I’m convinced it’s all about creating and grooming customizable rightist political players. That and lots and lots of money. It’s a tool that only a handful of very rich people have used, which is WAY more obvious in the past 2 years, to extremize the GOP in order to make rich people richer. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of the right nowadays?

  8. Best news of 2011! I hope the trend continues and I believe it will. Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf! If you lie all the time eventually a big majority of people will not believe you anymore on anything. This is, rightfully, what is happening to the Fox Republican Network.

  9. Wake up. It’s all useless corporate propaganda. All this proves is that the other corporate bulls**t spewers are getting better at it than Fox whom they learned it from.

  10. As for Fox being #1 in the rating that is a lie perpetuated by Neilson Media Research which was bought by none other than the Carlye Group in mid 2002, the exact time Fox claimed to have risen to #1. For those who dont know of the Carlye Group, they are a private equity firm controled by a Bush/Bin Laden consortium. They specialize in financing weapons systems but also like to dabble in political sabotage and propoganda. I was blogging on slate at the time under the handle Pagan, after posting this info on slate along with Bush’s deed to his cabin at the Koon Kreek Klub I was quickly banned from the site for life and put on the terrorist watch list for 7 years.

  11. The thing I find interesting is that Fox has been proclaimed as losing viewers for years, yet they are still here and seemingly healthy. The Fox news network is the 4th most watched cable network, with declines like that it appears they are going be around for a while.

  12. I will tell all of you the truth about why fox news is slowly dropping. It is because of their bad treatment of Ron Paul and blacking out his wins. They are full of distortions and lies like all news media. They also do not report much on many of the liberties that are being taken away from the law(NDAA)that was written by McCain & Levin that Obama signed. Check it out. RON PAUL 2012..Our only true hope to bring back freedom & financial restoration.

    • I was going to make sure everyone knew this – I stopped watching fox news because of this and I know many others who have turned exclusively to alternative news sources because of how Fox treats Ron Paul.

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