Thursday, November 18, 2010

FOX News: Love or Hate It, Fox IS Cable News

In his “here’s the rope, now hang yourself!” interview with Roger Ailes, the 70 year old head of FOX News, the “Daily Beast’s” Howard Kurtz drops in this line, “Fox is averaging 1.1 million viewers this year.” Really? Just 1.1 million?

In fact, FOX News’ evening line-up currently averages 2.7 million viewers, as against 2.3 million for CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and Headline News (now called HLN) combined. Glenn Beck has 63% of the total cable news audience during his hour. Bret Baier has 59%, Shepard Smith 56%, Sean Hannity 52%, and Greta Van Susteren 49% of the total cable news audience during their hours.

Bill O'Reilly, the king of cable news, is on twice during primetime. The total “O'Reilly Factor” primetime audience is 5.3 million. The most recent audience for “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” was 6.4 million. O’Reilly’s professed goal is to top at least one of the broadcast evening news shows in total viewership.

On election night, FOX shocked the entire TV news world by garnering a larger audience—over 7 million—than did ABC, NBC, or CBS (4th at 5.9 million).

By the way, the current readership of Kurtz’s “Daily Beast” is 1.6 million.

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