As Fox News’s audience continues to age, the conservative network inches close to death as in 2014 its median audience dropped to 1.1 million.
According to Pew Research’s 2015 State Of The Media Report:
The total median viewership over a 24-hour period for Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC combined dropped 7% in 2014 to 1.8 million, according to Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen Media Research data. That marked the first such audience decline by that measure since 2010. MSNBC fared the worst, with a 14% decline to a median of 334,000 viewers. Fox was down 2% to 1.1 million viewers and CNN up 1% to 417,000.
In prime time – the premier time slot for advertisers – combined median viewership was down for these three news channels by 8% to 2.8 million. Fox News remained relatively steady, losing only 1% of its viewership with 1.7 million watching nightly. But CNN (down 9% to 495,000 viewers) and MSNBC (down 8% to 568,000) struggled.
Fox News is still racking up big profits due to the high carriage fees that they charge providers. Fox News earns $1.50 per subscriber. This is the third highest carriage fee of any network. Fox News trails on ESPN and TNT in the amount charged per subscriber. Any liberal or progressive that has cable or satellite is paying Fox News $18 a year per household. High fees paid by people who disagree with Fox News, and never watch it, are one of the reasons why the network can be highly profitable as viewership declines.
Make no mistake about it, the entire cable news industry is in decline. The audience for cable news is shrinking. The numbers are bad. Only CNN saw an increase in median viewership, and that is because the network had been on the decline for years. MSNBC is an absolute disaster. Viewers have fled the network, and the best option for NBC may be to blow MSNBC up and start again.
Fox News is in decline. If cable and satellite providers ever move to a la carte programming, Fox News will be devastated.
The Fox News audience remains the oldest on television. The audience is not growing. By the best measurements, Fox News is experiencing a small decline or stagnating.
Fox News is a big fish in a steadily shrinking pond, which is why it is time for the media to stop kowtowing to the small and angry tribe known as the Fox News Channel.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a 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