Scoot: Why does Fox News beat CNN and MSNBC?

May 02, 2019 - 1:30 pm

CNN’s prime time ratings plummeted in April, and they finished third in the ratings race with Fox News and MSNBC. Fox News remains number one in the ratings with MSNBC coming in second.

The Fox News Channel averaged 2.4 million viewers in April, which is flat from last year. MSNBC attracted an average of 1.66 million views, and CNN dropped by 26% from April of last year to 767,000.

Why did Fox News maintain the same average number of viewers while MSNBC and CNN lost viewers? One argument would be that Fox News has a larger audience beScoot: Why is Fox News #1 and CNN had the bottom fall out?cause Fox News is supportive of President Trump while MSNBC and CNN are the “liberal media.” But is the explanation that simple?

Fox News has positioned its image as the conservative cable news network. MSNBC and CNN both promote a liberal-friendly image. Is it fair to say that Fox News is winning in the ratings because it has supported a conservative agenda?

Fox News is the lone conservative-leaning cable news network, but CNN and MSNBC share the audience that is more interested in watching liberal-leaning cable news. When the ratings of the overall liberal-leaning audience are combined it is equal to the number of conservative-leaning viewers. MSNBC and CNN’s ratings combined match the rating of Fox News. Yes, our country is more evenly divided than people on each side think.

The recent ratings for the cable news networks shows me that viewers and listeners are over-saturated with news about President Trump. Fox News remained the same in the ratings because that audience is celebrating the positive news of the Mueller report and continues to have a high interest in hearing positive news about the Trump administration. But the viewers of MSNBC and CNN may have reached the point of boredom when it comes to the never-ending attacks on President Trump. It’s not that they disagree with the attacks - they are just tired of hearing the same point-of-attack especially following the Russia investigation that did not overtly condemn President Trump.

Simply put - maybe the Fox News audience is enjoying the victory lap for now while the MSNBC and CNN audiences are over the focus being on essentially one topic.

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