The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

02 December 2009

Viewers Turn To Fox For Post-Obama Analysis


Viewers Flock To Opposition Network For Analysis

It's no secret that MSNBC and CNN have been in decline for some time, particularly since Obama took office. Positioning themselves as the president's defenders while his popularity sinks hasn't exactly been a winning strategy.

What is news, however, is the increasingly extreme nature of the divergence, with yesterday's primetime Obama speech providing a case study.

While MSNBC and CNN struggled to hold on to their far-smaller audiences, millions tuned in to the FOX News Channel and remained there afterward into the late hours to hear Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren and their respective guests provide instant reaction to Obama's war plan.

In ratings released late Wednesday, O'Reilly and Hannity's blockbuster 25-54 numbers stand out in particular, with the former averaging 1,293,000 (versus MSNBC's 410,000) and the latter pulling in 840,000 (against Rachel Maddow's 263,000).

Overall, O'Reilly averaged 4,478,000 compared to 1,376,000 for sad-sack competitor Keith Olbermann, while Hannity drew 2,631,000 to Maddow's 924,000.

For its part, CNN generally beat MSNBC, but lagged far behind FOX. It wasn't too long ago that CNN could be expected to own a night like that, but the network is deeply troubled today.

Fox is no longer merely ahead of the pack, it is wiping the competition right off the map.

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