Fox News No Longer Number One

Continuing a long pattern of decline, Fox News once again underperforms its competitors. The first quarter of a presidential election year can generally be expected to boost viewership for news networks. For CNN and MSNBC this has been markedly apparent. For Fox News…not so much.

As a result of the hyper-growth of CNN’s prime time schedule (persons 25-54), they actually finished ahead of Fox News for the first time in six years. Another quarter like this and Fox will finish third behind both CNN and MSNBC.

The stagnation of Fox’s audience can be traced in part to the downward spiral of the Bush presidency. Fox has long tethered its fortunes to a conservative ideology that has fallen out of favor. Now they have trouble attracting either viewers or guests from the more moderate and/or progressive population. They also have an age problem. Fox News has both the oldest skewing audience and the oldest prime time line-up. That combination produces a staleness that is reflected in their ratings. It’s ironic that the Republican candidate for president is also the oldest to ever run for the office. He should be a perfect fit for Fox, if not for America.

In addition to CNN’s win over Fox in the average ratings statistics, Fox has fallen to fourth place (with 24.5 million) in cumulative ratings, behind CNN (33.2), MSNBC (28.4), and Headline News (25.9). Cumes represent the number of the network’s unique viewers and are arguably a more precise measure for news programming (explanation here).

So contrary to the boasting of Fox News narcissists, they are not the ratings juggernaut that they would have you believe. In fact, sooner than many might have predicted, they will be reduced to also-rans. In advance of that you can expect that they will fiddle with their programming to deliver even more sensationalistic, high decibel, conflict-driven fare that virtually drips with steamy melodrama, controversy and a nightmarish dread of Muslims, immigrants and Democrats.

Fasten your seatbelts.


24 thoughts on “Fox News No Longer Number One

  1. Well I am happy to see that Fox News is finally being uncovered as a heavily biased, distorted, republican driven media machine that is less news than it is propaganda.

    • I think that’s always been known about Fox. It’s just that people are finally turning away from it and seeking out more substance.

  2. I’m a moderate, I’m trying to figure out why liberals don’t think CNN and MSNBC favor democrats.

    • Because we see CNN and MSNBC bashing Democrats and giving McCain a free ride.

      Witness the month-long Rev. Wright Marathon on all three cable nets. But almost nothing about Rev. Hagee, whose support McCain is proud to have.

      • Rev Wright deserved to be hammered, the stuff he said was insane. The Media covered it because it was extremely important. Obama can’t go to this church for twenty years and not know that his Rev who he called his Mentor was like that. Rev Wright is anti America and a total Bigot. To me it is like me hanging with a kkk member for twenty years then saying “I did not know”…. pleeease. We also know that the media hammers Republicans ten times worse.

  3. Why is Fox News always always always always always number 1? Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

  4. Maybe because folks are tired of being lied by the Old Guard.

    • Nope. It’s for the same reason McDonalds is always the #1 restaurant. It delivers the cheapest crap that is loaded with filler and seasoning to appeal to the largest number of consumers with the least sophisticated taste.

      And Fox News aggregates the most ignorant right-wing cultists (whom they endeavor to keep ignorant) in one broadcast home so it makes it look like there are more of them, when the opposite is true. Remember, the lowest rated network news program (CBS) gets twice as many viewers as the highest rated Fox News Show (O’Reilly). And so does SpongeBob SquarePants.

  5. Fox news has always been number one because it is simply the best news out there. You see Liberals just simply hate to be challenged so they hate Fox. Fox gives both sides and has guest from both sides which is something you will not see on the other channels. Liberals preach tolerance all the time until someone disagrees with them.
    I watch all the diff news channels like Fox,CNN,MSNBC (MSNBC is by far the worst one side garbage out there) as well as local stuff. Then I use what Liberals don’t have which is “common since and logic” to make up my own mind.

    • If you believe that Fox gives both sides, it may be too late for you. Tonight Fox had a panel following up the President’s press conference with O’Reilly, Goldberg, Morris, Miller, Rove, Carpenter, and Colmes. Yeah, that’s balanced.

      The right wing is struggling to hang on to 20% of the population, so the American people don’t agree with you – or Fox. Why do you hate America, Jeff?

      • Top 10 Cable News Programs, Q1 2009 (by total viewers)
        1. The O’Reilly Factor: 3,438,000 total viewers
        2. Hannity: 2,579,000 total viewers
        3. Glenn Beck: 2,271,000 total viewers
        4. Special Report with Bret Baier: 2,092,000 total viewers
        5. On the Record with Greta Van Susteren: 1,977,000 total viewers
        6. The FOX Report with Shepard Smith: 1,927,000 total viewers
        7. The O’Reilly Factor (repeat): 1,457,000 total viewers
        8. America’s Newsroom: 1,445,000 total viewers
        9. Your World with Neil Cavuto: 1,428,000 total viewers
        10. Countdown with Keith Olbermann: 1,327,000 total viewers

        This came from the Hoffington post one of the far left sites and even they know who is number one. Seems people do agree with me that Fox is fair balanced and gives both sides.

        Oh and if I hated America I would be from the looney left like you…so the question is…Why do you hate America, Mark????

        • Thank you for making MY point.

          Even with the propaganda megaphone provided by Fox News, the country is still solidly behind Obama and the Democrats. The “looney” right can have the Nielsen ratings, they don’t have the American people. Stop watching TV and get out a little more. Notice where the polls of actual voters are? Notice how the right is losing, even in formerly red districts?

          The effort to spread fear of imaginary Socialists is regarded as a joke by thinking people. That sort of idiocy will keep the right in the minority for years.

          O’Reilly, Hannity and Beck are the best things to ever happen to the left. Thanks again.

        • LOL – The country is solidly behind Obama? You leftist nuts don’t even understand that you can’t will stupidity – it just comes natural to those on the left – take a look at some of YOUR presidents’ poll numbers, get back to us with that, will ya?

  6. Why then did Air America fail, why then is MSNBC the lowest rated news around??? Oooo oooo I know because the people out there don’t want to hear that garbage. So what ever lefty shows that you watch that show people solidly behind Obama will fail just as the others. If you watch MSNBC then everything is just wonderful, but not in the real world. There are just way tooo many Dems and looney crazy lefties to name that I might get a finger cramp that are the best things that ever happen to the right. Hold on let me scroll back up and see those Fox news ratings again…………There that felt good.

    • This is getting tiresome. If you want to debate, can you at least try to stick to reality?

      1) Air America has NOT failed. It is still a going concern. The fact that it never had a deep-pocketed backer like News Corp or Clear Channel is a problem, but they nonetheless soldier on.

      2) MSNBC is NOT the lowest rated news around. They finished the last quarter above CNN, second to Fox, and over the last couple of years have grown faster than all of their competitors.

      3) If YOU would watch MSNBC you would see that they do not say everything is wonderful. They take a serious approach to the very real troubles our country faces. And they even criticize Obama daily on matters like torture investigations and bailouts for wealthy banks.

      I’m glad you had an opportunity to look again at Fox’s ratings to make yourself feel better, even though the 70% of the country who are not glued to TV approve of the president, and large majorities agree with his policies. I certainly wouldn’t want you to catch a glimpse of reality and have it make you feel bad.

      Finally, if you can’t engage in a civil discussion without tossing around juvenile insults, then I will cease to respond. It only makes you sound foolish and it diminishes your argument. Also, you might want to try commenting on something more recent than this year-old posting.

  7. I have some come backs for you but… yep, it is tiresome, I will never agree with you and you will never agree with me. Lets hope that our politicians find common ground (Left and Right) before they tear this country apart. Hey, maybe that is something we can agree on.


  8. Mark needs to apparently go back to the first grade, comparing fast food chains to news networks. How much of a lack of common sense can a human possibly have?

    Fox News has to point out what each sides agenda is and which one is better for the country, because every other network just highlights the bad news when conservatives are in office, and the good when comedians are in office. By the way, I haven’t heard a word about Obama jokewise on NBC Late night to this day.

    The man who made history “couldn’t possibly do wrong” when really he’s doing everything wrong. Bush was a bit of a disease for the economy, but great at national security. Obama is a giant piece of crap for both. We went from mediocre to ROCK BOTTOM!!

  9. PS: Your right about the insults, I agree.
    Tossing around hideous insults is actually the only thing liberals consentrate on.

  10. PSX2:You mean people are finally: compromising themselves and listening to what the media tells them instead of thinking for themselves and doing things on their own. People believe government is the answer and by giving the government power to solve our problems they will take over this country. America is about letting the people do it for themselves. That’s how we’ve gotten this far and how the government has not ever been able to suppress your nation and my nation like other governments have in other countries.

  11. Why arent there more people like you Jeff, America would not not be going down the tubes and unemployeement would not be almost 10%.

    Thats another thing Obama said unemployeement would be 8% if the stimulus bill wasn’t passed, wouldn’t go above 7% if it was. Well it was and unemployeement is at 8.4%. May not seem like a lot, but it will grow. (No word about the faulty judgement on the news or late night)

  12. FOX news and conservative radio have backed themselves into a 20 year window.

    they have alienated gen X,Y, the scientific, intellectual, and academic community, and the VASTLY growing agnostic/ atheist community to pander to the aging baby boomers who are now solidly nearing retirement age. who the hell is going to listen to them in 20 years when 60% of their audience is dead?

    my generation is solidly in the hands of jon stewart, stephen clobert and we are as skeptical and hard to fool as ever, and thats a problem when a network relies on misinforming gullible people like the baby boomers

    • Dear Humpy,
      Generation X, Y, the scientific, intellectual, academic community and the VASTLY growing agnostic/atheist community are not all one in the same. You are terribly mistaken to think that. Our Founding Fathers, who were considered radically liberal for their day, were intellectuals and considered to be wrong in their political thinking. We know differently now, however. The reason you and I can speak freely and the reason this nation is so wealthy is because of the vision these intellectuals had. These radically, liberal, intellectuals continue to guide conservative thinking in this Free & Great Nation. Conservatives do not want Big Government to run their lives and personally, I have always been surprised that today’s liberals want this type of control. The type of world today’s liberals dream of is an ideology that doesn’t work in favor of the people but certainly in favor of the Big Government. Study history and you will see that progressivism is socialism and will lead to government take over(s). A government of the people, by the people and for the people is where you’ll find freedom and it has to be earned and fought for everyday. There is no free lunch (for any great length of time) under this system because it is of the people, by the people and for the people. Everyone capable needs to pitch in and the poor and sick will easily be cared for. But when welfare has become one out of seven people (working) and going down to six (such as now), a collapse of the current economic system will occur and from its’ ashes will raise a government take over such as we’re experiencing. The progressive movement is the change President Obama spoke of and it will destroy our free country. When President Obama spoke of “fundamentally changing these United States of America”, this is what he meant. Maybe when your generation looses its freedom (it certainly takes for granted) you will finally understand this reality. Unfortunately, it will cost even more blood and treasure to get it back. I certainly hope you take these words to heart and know that you don’t have to be a believer in any God to understand/enjoy freedom from government control, but believing in God will remain a choice under the banner of freedom. Sincerely, Sal

  13. So how’s that Fox not being number thingy going for you morons?

    THURSDAY NITE, SEPT 10, 2009

    FOXNEWS O’REILLY 3,609,000
    FOXNEWS BECK 3,340,000
    FOXNEWS HANNITY 2,986,000
    FOXNEWS GRETA 2,522,000
    FOXNEWS BAIER 2,362,000
    FOXNEWS SHEP 2,040,000
    MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,573,000
    MSNBC MADDOW 1,164,000
    CNN KING 965,000
    MSNBC HARDBALL 882,000
    MSNBC SCHULTZ 734,000
    CNN COOPER 691,000

  14. lol.

    its wonderful to see so many communists bringing up the rear.

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