Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

For quite some time, Fox News has sat atop the ratings among the cable news networks -- by a fairly large margin. But as the trade magazine Broadcasting & Cable reports, the ratings at Fox -- particularly among the most important age demographic -- is dropping precipitously, worrying some of the big brass at News Corporation.

Slackers at Fox News Channel, you're on notice! Your boss is not pleased. Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes is on the warpath following his network's recent ratings slump, and he won't hesitate to clean house to turn things around.

So far during the second quarter, the No. 1 cable news channel's primetime schedule has dropped 22% in its core 25-54 demo and 8% in total viewers. The first quarter was even worse.


Production values are slipping, and bookers aren't competitive enough, relying too heavily on the same pool of faces and settling for authors or actors after they've already been on CNN or ... gasp ... MSNBC.

We as progressives have our work cut out for us in creating the type of infrastructure that helps conservatives maintain their political power, but the balance may soon be shifting in our favor. Ratings at Fox News are down two quarters in a row -- and not by insignificant amounts. A look at the most recent primetime ratings available on the TV Newser blog shows that MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" is edging ever closer to Fox News' big star, Bill O'Reilly, among the much-coveted 25-54 demographic (although Olbermann continues to trail big among all viewers).

And it seems that some progressives may be ready to invest the requisite dollars to bring some parity to the realm of cable as I found out at the Yearly Kos convention earlier this month.

But, as of this writing at least, the most interesting and important thing I heard during the duration of Yearly Kos was that progressives of means were contemplating the purchase of media outlets -- including television networks -- to help counteract the effect of the vast conservative media, from talk radio to Fox News. If these discussions come to fruition and a wholly progressive network of television and radio stations are able to reach the bulk of American voters, we will be able to greatly hasten the day when we are able to continue building on the forward-thinking policies of the New Deal era and the 1960s. Gauging by the seriousness with which some of the convention's attendees discussed this effort, I am cautiously optimistic that change could come sooner rather than later.

The ratings slide at Fox News only increases the optimism I found at the Yearly Kos convention.

Tags: Fox News (all tags)



Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

Our master Kos is quite pleased with these results.

by Matt Stoller 2006-06-26 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

That's why he had me write this piece... er... wrote this piece for me.

by Jonathan Singer 2006-06-26 09:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

It must go hand in hand with Bush's approval ratings. The "war on terror" schtick is just getting tired and old. Viewers are just slowly walking away.

by padcrasher 2006-06-26 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

So just remember, if we invade Iran, it's not about oil, it's about bringing Fox ratings back up.

by Anthony de Jesus 2006-06-26 09:46PM | 0 recs
MSNBC, BBC World, Etc.

Some random musings:

1. Microsoft and NBC Universal (GE) reached a deal for the former to pull out of MSNBC. NBC now owns 82% of MSNBC and has an option on the other 18%. Would NBC (GE) be interested in having somebody else pick up the 18%?

2. It'd be great to have some quality, straight news reporting instead of the crappy infotainment we get. (Straight news is liberal.) Some rich (but not filthy rich) liberals could do that easily by sponsoring a BBC World 24 hour digital feed over a broadcast network's terrestrial stations. (There's a lot of spare capacity there right now with those HDTV channel assignments. Each HDTV channel can actually carry about 6 standard definition feeds simultaneously. Most stations have no clue what to do with the extra space.) PBS would be a good choice, but it might be worth hedging a bit with some commercial station assignments.

3. How about the next logical step: "Air America Television"? Or "AANBC"? GE is going to have to figure out how to get some defense contracts from a Democratic Congress. :-)

by BBCWatcher 2006-06-27 01:58AM | 0 recs
Re: MSNBC, BBC World, Etc.


No, it's hard to see GE contracting with any overtly liberal media source such as AirAmerica.  Especially since AA seems to be lacking in the money department.  If liberal media sources actually had money, GE would more than welcome them.  The bottom line is the bottom line.

GoogleNBC might be more likely. ;)

by howie14 2006-06-27 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

Demagoguery just gets old. People tire of being angry and hating.

by TomChicago 2006-06-27 03:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

nothing to say but "ditto"

by bruh21 2006-06-27 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

The question I am wondering about it is, where are the viewers going if they are not watching Fox News?!

by Gigadafud 2006-06-27 03:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

The blogs! </optimism>

by sdedeo 2007-02-14 04:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

This is great news, but we as progressives must assist in the decline.  Taking a page out of the conservative play book, we must change the language (i.e. death tax, or Rick Santroums WMD for 30 year old inactive war heads).  No progressive should ever again utter the words "Fox News" because the word news implies that it really is news.  I would suggest that every time we refer to Fox, we call it "Fox Opinion" or "Fox Commentary" (or my favorite, Fox bullshit).  These are just suggestions off the top of my head. Maybe someone has a better idea.    

by joetalarico 2006-06-27 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting
What progressives must do, first of all is face facts. The constituencies for far-right and far left are limited and pretty well fixed. While a bawdy  joke at a batchelor party may be cool, the same joke at the wedding falls flat, even for the people that laughed at the batchelor party. I hate to say it but Air America won't win any converts. Besides some very good interviews it's listening to a broken record. My God, how many time can Randi Rhodes say "he lied, he lied, he, lied, he lied" before Rush starts looking better?
The need for progressive radio is unquestioned, but cackling among ourselves for hours and hours, repeating the lies, distortions, and deceit of the administration ad nauseum hasn't worked so far.
by shooter 2006-06-27 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings at Fox News Plummeting

My first reading of the last paragraph of excerpt 1 registered as "...relying too heavily on the same pool of feces...".  It didn't even occur to me that I maght have misread it.

by ThomasAllen 2006-06-27 07:12AM | 0 recs
Progressive TV

So what's their prime-time lineup?

West Wing reruns?
Buffy reruns (with Cheney's head photoshopped in for all the demons!)

Maybe we can get 'em to sign Josh Whedon up for more episodes of Firefly!!  

Only partly joking here - there's a huge opportunity for really good(I'd settle for just not crappy!) drama/sitcom/comedy shows with a strong liberal bent.  Reality TV - when Republicans control your reality.  

by Austin in PA 2006-06-27 12:25PM | 0 recs
Like this kind of &quot;plummeting&quot;?

New rightwing talking point:  Gore's documentary is "plummeting" at the theaters.  

Uh, no.  They've been pimping superstition for so long they can't even get their prepositions right.

by Grand Moff Texan 2006-06-28 06:52AM | 0 recs
by tino 2006-10-25 05:45AM | 0 recs


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