The new hierarchy in news

Thomas Lifson
Struggling CNN got a big ratings boost from the rescue of the Chilean miners, but the magnitude of the breaking news viewership growth actually is bad news for the Time-Warner cable net.

CNN's sole claim to importance, after being overshadowed by Fox and MSNBC in the ratings, has been that when important news breaks, viewers turn to it. As the first cable news outlet, CNN has gotten mindshare among viewers who normally watch entertainment programming, sports, or no TV at all.

But the ratings for the miners' rescue tell a new story. Deadline.com:

Some 7.1 million viewers tuned into Fox News at 8 PM last night to watch the last trapped Chilean miner, Luis Urzua, making it safely to the surface. That was not only the cable news channel's largest audience in the hour this year but its biggest viewership since Election Night 2008. It more than doubled what the channel's flagship series, The O'Reilly Factor, averages at 8 PM. Fox News not only pummeled its entire cable competition, it also beat broadcast networks NBC and Fox in the 8 PM hour. CNN also got a boost with its rescue coverage vs. the miniscule ratings it has been getting in the 8 PM slot with new talkshow Parker Spitzer. The network averaged 2.7 million viewers. That was almost 10 times what the show hosted by former New York Democratic governor Eliot Spitzer and political columnist Kathleen Parker most recently logged at 8 PM but trailed Fox News by a wide margin in the area CNN used to dominate -- breaking news. MSNBC (1.1 million) was on par with what Keith Olbermann normally delivers....

Fox is now the reference standard for news, and not just in the cable universe. CNN's former status as the breaking news source has been lost, while MSNBC merely manages to retain its viewers, a sure sign that it is a niche ideological player, while Fox is perceived as fair and balanced by viewers -- mainstream, in other words, despite years of demonization by the left. It is the go-to source for hard news, not an ideological outlet. That label belongs towhat used to be called "mainstream" media.

The significance of all this goes well beyond ratings points. The American public realizes the formerly mainstream media is left wing, and appreciates that Fox presents both sides of the story. The mockery and insults hurled at Fox by committed leftists in other media are counterproductive for them, much as the insults directed at tea partiers backfired.

The move away from progressive propagandists continues, and the sole network to present conservative ideas along with liberal ones is reaping the just rewards of breaking the former monopoly.

Hat tip: Big Journalism
Struggling CNN got a big ratings boost from the rescue of the Chilean miners, but the magnitude of the breaking news viewership growth actually is bad news for the Time-Warner cable net.

CNN's sole claim to importance, after being overshadowed by Fox and MSNBC in the ratings, has been that when important news breaks, viewers turn to it. As the first cable news outlet, CNN has gotten mindshare among viewers who normally watch entertainment programming, sports, or no TV at all.

But the ratings for the miners' rescue tell a new story. Deadline.com:

Some 7.1 million viewers tuned into Fox News at 8 PM last night to watch the last trapped Chilean miner, Luis Urzua, making it safely to the surface. That was not only the cable news channel's largest audience in the hour this year but its biggest viewership since Election Night 2008. It more than doubled what the channel's flagship series, The O'Reilly Factor, averages at 8 PM. Fox News not only pummeled its entire cable competition, it also beat broadcast networks NBC and Fox in the 8 PM hour. CNN also got a boost with its rescue coverage vs. the miniscule ratings it has been getting in the 8 PM slot with new talkshow Parker Spitzer. The network averaged 2.7 million viewers. That was almost 10 times what the show hosted by former New York Democratic governor Eliot Spitzer and political columnist Kathleen Parker most recently logged at 8 PM but trailed Fox News by a wide margin in the area CNN used to dominate -- breaking news. MSNBC (1.1 million) was on par with what Keith Olbermann normally delivers....

Fox is now the reference standard for news, and not just in the cable universe. CNN's former status as the breaking news source has been lost, while MSNBC merely manages to retain its viewers, a sure sign that it is a niche ideological player, while Fox is perceived as fair and balanced by viewers -- mainstream, in other words, despite years of demonization by the left. It is the go-to source for hard news, not an ideological outlet. That label belongs towhat used to be called "mainstream" media.

The significance of all this goes well beyond ratings points. The American public realizes the formerly mainstream media is left wing, and appreciates that Fox presents both sides of the story. The mockery and insults hurled at Fox by committed leftists in other media are counterproductive for them, much as the insults directed at tea partiers backfired.

The move away from progressive propagandists continues, and the sole network to present conservative ideas along with liberal ones is reaping the just rewards of breaking the former monopoly.

Hat tip: Big Journalism