Cable News Ratings Show Slight Dip

The 2016 election was like none other, and the ratings enjoyed by cable news channels were something they have never seen before and are likely to never see again. The Trump-Bump, as it’s known in the media, didn’t end with the election.  In primetime, Fox News Channel and CNN saw a slight drop-off in viewership in April, but nothing significant or necessarily lasting.  “They were down a little bit in April but they were up so much in the first quarter of 2017 I really don’t think there’s much the executives at these cable networks have to worry about at this point,” Chris Ariens, TV Editor for Adweek Magazine tells KTRH News.

In spite of the recent turmoil at the Fox News Channel with personnel changes including Bill O’Reilly, America’s love affair continues unabated.  “They continue to have a really strong April, they were the number one cable network –not just cable NEWS network, but ahead of ESPN and HGTV, and that was the tenth month in a row,” says Ariens. 

Eight of the top ten cable shows are on the Fox News Channel, though liberal-leaning MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is up 82% over last year and regularly beats Fox News.  Ariens doesn’t see cable viewers’ attention moving on anytime soon.  “News junkies are news junkies and they are going to continue to tune in as long as news continues to be made,” he says.

It’s not all rosy, though.  Cord cutting is their biggest threat.  Cable has lost five times more viewers than this time last year.

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