March 6, 2021

Fox News’ ratings fall behind CNN and MSNBC for the first time in decades

Most never thought it would be possible for Fox News to fall so hard and fast that they would eventually be chasing their competitors in the ratings.

According to the Daily Wire, that time has officially come, as the once-unstoppable force in right-leaning cable news has taken an absolute beating in the ratings over the past two months and as of this week, for the first time in over 20 years, fell behind both MSNBC and CNN in the ratings. 

As recent ratings data has revealed, between January 4th and January 10th, CNN came in number one with an impressive 2.8 million viewers per day and an equally impressive 4.2 million viewers in primetime. In the same time frame, MSNBC posted similar numbers, coming in with 2.3 million per day and 3.8 million in primetime.

Fox News, however, found itself at the bottom of the heap, garnering a paltry 1.7 million per day and 3.2 million for their primetime lineup, making clear that the mass exodus of once-loyal Fox News viewers have held true to their vows to ditch the network following some of its controversial calls for the 2020 election.

According to Reuters, Fox News very clearly lost a large chunk of their usually-steady and high ratings to the emerging conservative alternative news network NewsMax TV, which claimed daytime ratings of 294,000 and primetime ratings of 443,000. Those are small numbers on the surface, but they’re actually giant numbers considering that prior to the 2020 election, the network barely even registered on the charts.

Fox News still managed to claim the title of the “most-watched” network on basic cable for the year 2020, but that’s likely because their ratings problem didn’t begin until close to the end of the year. This year could be an entirely different story.

Experts in the industry point to a recent lineup change at Fox News as a knee-jerk reaction to the network’s recent ratings crash, as Fox News bumped one of their lowest-rated primetime hosts back to an afternoon spot and filled the empty slot with plans for a new opinion show, which tends to garner higher ratings than hard news.

According to the Daily Beast, top executives at Fox News like Jay Wallace and Suzanne Scott are in a fight to keep their jobs as the network’s chief, Rupert Murdoch, has reportedly taken a more hands-on approach in management, presumably to get a handle on stemming the ratings bleed.

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