6.29.2008

Fox News Finds Its Rivals Closing In

From the (near) obituary page over at the NY Times:

Fox has seen its once formidable advantage over CNN erode in this presidential election year, as both CNN and MSNBC have added viewers at far more dramatic rates.

[snip]

CNN has added 170,000 viewers a night, on average, when compared with the last presidential year, while Fox has shed about 90,000, according to Nielsen. (MSNBC, which added 181,000 viewers in that audience, much of it courtesy of gains by “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” still lagged in third place, with 303,000.)

“I don’t think it’s that Fox has slipped,” said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist who managed Bob Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996. “I just think MSNBC and CNN have risen to the occasion in a far more creative way, with better guests, cooler maps and more interactive shows.”

[snip]

While Fox News remains the most-watched cable news channel over all — it has been attracting an average of nearly 2 million viewers each weeknight this year, compared to 1.3 million for CNN and 805,000 for MSNBC — its momentum has effectively stalled, at least when measured over years past. The overall prime-time audiences watching CNN and MSNBC, by contrast, have each grown by more than 50 percent this year, when measured against the same period last year, while Fox’s has increased by 10 percent, according to Nielsen. (The New York Times and NBC News, the parent of MSNBC, share some resources in covering political news.)

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