Fox News Remains Ratings King, But Ratings Slid In 2006
Fox News Channel's prime-time lineup saw its ratings slide in 2006.
About 20 percent fewer viewers -- and 25 percent in the precious 25-54 age group -- watched Hannity & Colmes, O'Reilly Factor and the rest of Fox News' nightly shows.
Fox News remains the ratings king, with 1.4 million viewers nightly.
MSNBC -- led by buzzworthy Keith Olbermann -- was the only cable news network to see its ratings climb last year. MSNBC, ranked third among the four news channels, was up 6 percent for the year, but up a whopping 22 percent in the fourth quarter, when the network's prime-time line-up was revamped to focus primarily on the midterm elections.
Most of those viewers seem to have come from Fox News. As JABBS noted last month, Fox News' ratings were down 24 percent from October 2005 to October 2006, and were down 19 percent from November 2005 to November 2006 -- the peak of election season.
At the time, Fox News executives spun that their ratings declined because of a slow news year. Others have rightly suggested that the ratings drop mirrors a change among voters, and a rejection of the conservative analysis that makes up Fox News' nightly lineup.