Fox News, CNN, MSNBC Shed 13.7% of Viewers

Every cable news channel sees drop-off for first time in 12 years
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 14, 2011 7:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all lost viewers last year for the first time in at least 12 years, a study finds. A Pew journalism group found a combined 13.7% drop in viewership, the largest decline of any news sector, and all three networks fell for the first time since the group began keeping track. Broadcast news, meanwhile, continued its decline with a 3.4% drop in 2010, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

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Cable news was hit hardest in prime time, with median viewership falling 16% to an average of 3.2 million viewers. CNN felt the biggest impact with a 37% prime-time plummet; Fox, meanwhile, dropped 11%, and MSNBC, 5%. “We may have reached a peak in cable news viewership,” says an analyst. “It's not that people are not watching cable, they're just not turning to news as much." The Internet was the only source that got a boost last year, climbing 17% year-to-year. (Read more CNN stories.)

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