In the beginning, there was the Cable News Network, which seemed to morph into the “Clinton News Network” in the 1990s during the Bill Clinton administration, and more recently into the “Cuomo News Network” and a ratings winner while Donald Trump was available to kick around.
But Trump is no longer president, Joe Biden is in the White House—and not doing too well in the polls—and the network recently was forced to fire Chris Cuomo “after generating months of controversy for having privately advised his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid a career-ending sexual misconduct scandal,” according to Yahoo News and the Daily Beast.
CNN was doing well during Trump’s final year, according to the report, averaging 1.79 million prime time viewers.
As Yahoo News put it, “By the second quarter, it was clear viewers had grown disinterested and tuned cable news out. CNN was hit the hardest. While all networks suffered in the ratings, CNN dealt with a seismic shift: The network shed 53 percent of its primetime viewership from the previous quarter and 49 percent year-over-year.”
According to AdWeek, Fox News is on top in the 25-54 demographic, with CNN trailing badly and MSNBC at third place during the daytime, and during prime time, Fox is way ahead of MSNBC and CNN, in that order. The headline for AdWeek’s report says it all: “Tuesday, Dec. 21 Scoreboard: Fox News Owns Top 14 Cable News Shows in Demo”
Like it or not, programs on Fox News seem to resonate with prime time viewers far more than those at either of the other two networks. Fox’s Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham carry the night, and Greg Gutfeld’s talk show has picked up momentum with biting humor and satire aimed at liberals.
Long story short, as summed up by the Daily Beast, “In other words, the future isn’t all that bright for CNN heading into 2022—and it’s not clear if there’s anything it can do to pull itself from the morass.”
CNN did score Chris Wallace, a Fox News staple who is considered one of the best. Wallace has left Fox for a spot at CNN’s new streaming platform, as noted by The Hill.
But Wallace irritated conservatives, especially during the Trump-Biden debate. As detailed by The Hill, conservative Dana Loesch was infuriated by how Wallace moderated that debate, and so was “Fox and Friends” morning co-host Brian Kilmeade.
It remains to be seen whether Wallace can bring CNN back from the edge of the grave.
The Hill noted Fox News has also lost contributors Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, while adding that Kevin Williamson, writing at the National Review, was none too flattering toward Fox News.
All cable networks could probably use a bit of moderation, but in a polarized America, it is not likely to happen. It’s liberal versus conservative, and right now in the ratings game, conservative Fox appears to have it, while CNN has more likely had it.
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