Fox News’ attempt to stop the flood of young viewers from fleeing the network failed as FNC lost the most young viewers of any cable news network in 2013.
TVNewser reported on the big drop in young people tuning into Fox News, “Compared to 2012, Fox News was down -5% in total viewers and -19% in the A25-54 demographic in total day. In primetime, the network was down -14% in total viewers and -30% in the demo, the steepest decline among younger viewers of all the cable news networks.”
2012 was a presidential election year, so all three cable news networks lost viewers in 2013. The difference is that at Fox News this problem has been going on for years. The move of Megyn Kelly to 9 PM was supposed to attract young viewers, but Kelly suffered a drop 23% in young viewership compared to Sean Hannity’s 2012 ratings. Bill O’Reilly is down 23% with younger viewers, and Hannity is down 16%.
Fox knows that this is a serious problem. It’s the reason why they shook up their primetime schedule. The reality is that Fox News has the oldest audience in all television. The average age of a Fox News viewer is 65 years old. FNC can remain the ratings leader in the short term future as long as the senior set keeps tuning in, but what happens when there aren’t enough young people tuning in to replace the elderly audience?
If Fox News fails to build a future audience, they will go extinct. It would have been unfathomable in early 1990s to suggest that one day CNN would be the least watched cable news network, but that is exactly what has happened. Beneath all of the arrogant swagger and bragging, Fox News has a huge problem.
It isn’t just that younger people aren’t watching. They are flat out rejecting Fox News. Just like the Republican Party, Fox News is aging and fading. Attempts to rebrand are going nowhere, as young news consumers have been turned off by Fox.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association