Fox News ratings

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

20 November 2017

Fox News ratings dip, others rise. A lasting trend?

The other cable news networks envy the Fox News ratings but a tide might be turning. Ratings for the cable news network leader are dropping 12% in the third quarter, while the others see ratings increase.

Are viewers turning off Fox News because of recent scandal? Trump backlash? Support for Keurig?

Fox News ratingsIt could be all of the above, including the network’s support of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. But the other networks shouldn’t gloat over Fox News ratings. Hated or loved, Fox News still sports a brand.

Although it might be one viewers are rejecting.

Fox News still draws an average of 2.15 million viewers in primetime, while MSNBC averages 1.75 million. But a trend emerges. While Fox News ratings drop, MSNBC viewership increases 43% and CNN 1%. In addition, Fox’s prime-time program Hannity lost 15% in advertising revenue, primarily because many advertisers – including Keurig – pulled ads off the show. Because of Hannity’s unabashed support of Moore.

“For the other networks, the slumping Fox News ratings give them optimism – especially as their ratings rise. But those networks still remain where they’ve always been. Failing to know what they stand for or represent.”

What does the Fox News ratings slump mean?

It’d be a mistake to suggest this represents a changing America. Fox News remains the market leader and cable news networks don’t necessarily represent what America thinks. But Fox News is so tied into the Trump brand that viewers might be suffering from fatigue of the constant drama.

Even Hannity seems to be at a loss. When Keurig first pulled its ads, Hannity encourages viewers to boycott Keurig. So, some viewers post videos showing them destroying their Keurig coffee machines. Then Hannity backtracks, probably understanding that other advertisers aren’t gonna like seeing a TV host literally trashing a potential advertiser.

So, Hannity pulls back, asking viewers to stop smashing their Keurigs. Maybe it’s just a misstep in the network’s development. Shepard Smith remains a voice of reason on the network, and management continues cleaning house of those accused of sexual harassment.

For the other networks, the slumping Fox News ratings give them optimism – especially as their ratings rise. But those networks still remain where they’ve always been. Failing to know what they stand for or represent.

And I’m not talking about where on the political spectrum they fall. What does being an MSNBC viewer mean? A CNN viewer? How do they define themselves emotionally?

There’s opportunity here. But unless MSNBC and the other networks capture viewers’ imaginations, the Fox News ratings dip will mean nothing in the long term.

See more posts in the following related categories: CNN FOX news Hannity MSNBC

1 Comment

  1. David Herrick

    One of the obviously unique things FOX does is to make an attempt to have an opposing point of view with each featured segment. In other words they have a fairly well known liberal make an argument for their position. However – most of the time they are not very strong. Not that they change their minds or submit but their arguments are pretty weak at best and not always backed up by facts. It also may be why FOX chooses them? My thinking is – this formula may have become dull to the viewer. It may have become too predictable?

    Personally – I think the fact that there have been so many examples and firings of key individuals for inappropriate behavior – it’s hurt the brand considerably. I am waiting for the day when they have nothing but all female broadcasters. I am being a bit sarcastic but it also would not surprise me if it eventually happened. I do think that will be the end of FOX because you do need a male point of view. It just makes for good broadcasting.


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