6/13/15

I recently came across this report about viewership of cable news programs.

The report is for one month but is typical for all months.

It ranks the programs based on the numbers of viewers aged 25-54, the coveted age range for advertisers.

I am more interested in the political significance, where the total viewers are much more important. The differences in the rankings between these two measurements are not significant.

The picture emanating from this report is staggering. The domination by Fox News of the cable news world is complete and unassailable.

Few numbers (all in terms of total viewership):

  • There are 12 programs that attract more than 1,000,000 viewers each. In total, these programs attract 20,106,000 viewers.
  • Of the 12 programs, 12 are on Fox. Yes, 100%.
  • The next two programs attracting over 900,000 each are on . . . you guessed it, Fox.
  • The next 6 programs, bringing the total to 20 programs, have between them 3,667,000 viewers.
  • Of those, 5 are on CNN. One is on CNBC and is really not a news program at all.
  • The number one program on cable news is, of course, The O’Reilly Factor—and has been for an unbelievable run of over 15 years. The Factor has 2,409,000 viewers. In an amazing feat, its rerun 3 hours later garners 905,000 additional viewers, which one must assume are mostly from the West coast.
  • The total number of viewers on CNN’s 5 most viewed programs is 3,288,000, just 26,000 less than The O’Reilly Factor alone (including rerun). This is simply shocking. Two of these programs (Someone Has To Do It and Parts Unknown) are not even news programs.
  • In terms of hard news, as opposed to talk/opinion-type programing, Fox leads with 1,853,000 viewers for Special Report, which is number 5 in viewership overall.
  • The CNN comparable, The Situation Room, has 583,000 viewers and is number 17 overall.
  • The next 10 CNN programs, in total, have 3,816,000 viewers.
  • Total viewers on CNN is about 7,000,000 compared to 22,000,000 on Fox.
  • The first MSNBC program comes in at number 27 and has 662,000 total viewers.
  • The next 4 “most viewed” MSNBC programs have in total 1,858,000 viewers, so the total for MSNBC amongst the first 30+ programs is 2,520,000, just slightly more than The O’Reilly Factor EXCLUDING its re-run. In other words, this one program on Fox, including its rerun, has more viewers by FAR than MSNBC’s 5 most viewed programs!

Wow.

Personally, I am not a big fan of The O’Reilly Factor, but I admit that I watch about 10-15 minutes of it nearly every day. I then switch between it, Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, and mostly All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, which, although I disagree with 95% of the time, is an interesting program.

I believe that Special Report by Fox is the best hard news program on TV by far, and it seems that my view is shared with many other viewers. And here was I always thinking that I am special…

In general, my view is that:

  • Fox is the most reliable, least biased, and most interesting network. They regularly bring both sides of any issue and give both sides fair hearing. This, of course, is contrary to the common thinking about Fox generated by Democratic politicians who are used to having the biased liberal mainstream media protect them, and flamed on by its minnow competitors.
  • MSNBC is extremely biased—proudly so—and very left of center, but very interesting and sophisticated.
  • CNN is slimy and underhanded, dishonest, tabloid-type, yellow journalism. Overall biased, hypocritical about it, and the low of the low.

I guess you know now how I feel about CNN.

So what does this tell us?

It tells us that the country generally is leaning conservative in its views, evident by the majority of Republican control of states governors, and states’ legislators.

It also tells us, as I’ve said a few times before, that the only reason Republicans are doing so miserably on the national stage is because they are simply not media savvy.