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May 03, 2021

Media Ratings and Online Viewership Collapse

Is the media dying?

Can we smother it?

During President Biden's first 100 days in office, weekly full-day cable ratings for CNN and MSNBC have been trending down, according to statistics from ratings company Nielsen.


On average, 1.3 million household viewers were watching MSNBC in the last week of January, shortly after Biden took office. For the week ending April 25, that number was 868,000. At CNN, those figures went from 1.2 million to 749,000.

Even perennial ratings leader Fox News is seeing a decline, though a much smaller one compared to its cable competitors, dipping to just 1.2 million from 1.3 million in late January.

Prime-time cable viewership is also down across the board. In the same time comparisons as the full-day ratings, CNN has lost 792,000 viewers, while MSNBC is down 788,000 and Fox is short 348,000.

Network evening news isn't faring any better. Ratings leader "World News Tonight" at ABC had 1.8 million fewer viewers in the seven days ending April 25 compared to the last week of January.

NBC's "Nightly News," in the No. 2 slot, lost 1.7 million viewers in that same period, while CBS is down 1.2 million.

Media experts like Scott Robson, a research analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence who studies cable news, say viewership this year essentially peaked during the Jan. 6 insurrection and has been going down since.

"We are seeing a similar trend for the broadcast evening news shows," he added.

No cable news or broadcast networks provided a comment to The Hill about the declines.

In addition to ratings, website traffic for major news outlets is also down.

The number of total unique viewers is down this year for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News, according to analysis firm Comscore.

Traffic is also down for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, the Boston Globe, Vice, Vox and BuzzFeed.

Some of those sites had more traffic in March than in February, but all are down since the start of the year.

Note that while Fox hasn't lost too much since January, they lost a lot in November, when they decided to join the left in "fortifying" the election.

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posted by Ace at 01:20 PM

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