The cable news channels have experienced “particularly troubling declines in viewership” during the month of May, Bill Carter reports in The New York Times.
Focusing on the target news demo of viewers 25-54,Carter writes: “CNN had the least-watched 9 p.m. hour in the channel’s history and finished fourth, behind Fox News, MSNBC, and even its sister channel HLN, in attracting the viewers that news advertisers pay for. MSNBC had its lowest performance in prime time since July 2006.”
The report adds: “As for Fox News, the dominant leader in cable news ratings had its worst overall month since before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and its prime-time lineup of hosts all scored their worst numbers in the years since then.”
CNN declined after interest in the story of the missing Malaysian airliner trailed off, the story notes.
Fox’s biggest draw, Bill O’Reilly, had his lowest month since 2001, the piece adds. His audience also reached its oldest median age, at 72.1 years, the report notes.
Fox is averaging 177,000 viewers 25-54 in total day for May, the story reports, with MSNBC averaging 103,000 and CNN averaging 99,000.
The report adds: "The audience for news is generally among the oldest in television. Fox News tends to skew older than its rivals. The median age for MSNBC in May was 62.5. For CNN it was 62.8. For Fox News it was 68.8."