The good news is that FOX news is not news

The better news — though not so much for FOX news — is that it’s about to become OLD news. It is now officially losing in the ratings to a comedy show, thanks in no small part to an aging audience. Their average viewer is 65+, and every important demographic for long-term viability slipped.

“Red Eye” was the only Fox News show to post ratings gains in 2011. Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and On The Record With Greta Van Susteren all lost viewers. In the morning, Fox and Friends remained flat. Fox News still showed its dominance by having the top 13 rated cable news programs, but a certain program hosted by a comedian that Fox News loves to hate on Comedy Central blew past most of the Fox News shows in the ratings.

According to Comedy Central, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart averaged 2.3 million viewers per episode in 2011. Unlike Fox News, “The Daily Show” was up in total viewers (+7%) and all key demos: adults 18-49 (+6%); men 18-34 (+2%); men 18-24 (+4%).” The Daily Show was also the top cable late night talk show in terms of total viewers, and was generally dominant. While Fox News was losing 14% in the demo in 2011, Jon Stewart was gaining 6%.

While I don’t always agree 100% with Jon Stewart (e.g. about atheism), he’s right infinitely more often than FOX News about the state of our society. Of course, when you’re comparing against an entity that explicitly gets things wrong intentionally, in order to benefit the party that would otherwise be detrimentally affected by reality itself, you only have to get things right once to be an infinite improvement.

Comments

  1. The Lorax says

    I’d vote for Jon Stewart for President. And Steven Colbert for Vice-President.

    We’ve got nothing but clowns running anyway, we might as well vote in the best, nya?

    I hope this trend with Fox continues. I’d love to see their ratings bleed to death, very slowly. Imagine how pissed off O’Reilly will be when he’s ranting and raving, but no one is listening.

  2. Randomfactor says

    Fox tried to copy The Daily Show once with their Half-Hour Comedy Hour…which bombed abysmally.

    The reason: Conservatives don’t seem to get the premise of TDS. It’s NOT a show about/making fun of politics. It’s a show about and making fun of right-wing cable news.

    (To be fair, they’d make fun of left-wing cable news too–if there were any.

  3. jeanmarie says

    Jason Thibeault writes, //”While I don’t always agree 100% with Jon Stewart (e.g. about atheism)….”//

    I can’t recall ever hearing Jon Stewart self label as an atheist….But he hasn’t called me for a while..

    Oh, do you mean you disagree with Jon Stewart’s cracking on various atheists groups’ remarks now and then? <–is THAT what you refer to,(?) when you say you "disagree with Jon Stewart about atheism"???

  4. says

    The reason: Conservatives don’t seem to get the premise of TDS. It’s NOT a show about/making fun of politics. It’s a show about and making fun of right-wing cable news.

    The staff at The Daily Show might be surprised to hear that’s what their show is about because it’s certainly not about making fun of right-wing cable news. It is about making fun of the wackiness in politics, and it’s about making fun of the ridiculousness and pompousness of punditry and what passes for news these days.
    It just often seems that they’re about making fun of right-wing cable news because Fox keeps giving them material, but they will certainly go after MSNBC when it’s called for, and they have.
    If Fox News ever actually became fair and balanced, you’d probably see a hell of a lot more of Ed Schultz on TDS.

  5. jnorris says

    I believe a lot of people watched Fox News for the laughable moments. In 2011 they discovered they could just watch 30 minutes of Jon Stewart and get just the real funny parts of Fox without wasting the whole day.

  6. some Matt or other says

    @Randomfactor: I agree with Tabby that TDS can’t really be boiled down to “making fun of right-wing cable news.” Colbert Report, possibly. But I think Jon Stewart hit the nail on the head in his infamous Crossfire interview, which happened during the 2004 presidential race. When asked if having a Kerry administration would make his job harder, he said, “That’s kind of not how we look at it. We look at, the absurdity of the system provides us the most material. [...] The only way it would be harder is if [Kerry's] administration is less absurd than this one. So, in that case, if it’s less absurd, then, yes, I think it would be harder. But, I mean, it would be hard to top this group, quite frankly.”

    When Obama won, it did seem to me that TDS shifted its crosshairs from the administration to Fox News. While I’m sure this was in part due to the political leanings of the staff, it was also their absurdity-seeking guidance system at work. It’s hard an endless font of material like Glenn Beck.

  7. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    Elsewhere in the world, Fox is growing. A Canadian “TV investor” called Jeffrey Royer just agreed to sell his share of Family Channel Oy (a Xian oriented TV channel here in Finland) to Rupert Murdoch. So now we will finally get to see Faux News in its full glory.

    It’s a pity that I ditched my TV set more than ten years ago.

  8. says

    jeanmarie@4: Sorry, I should have specified. He called the demand by atheists not to include a chunk of girder welded at right angles in the 9/11 memorial labeled as a “miracle cross”, as I recall, petty.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    He called the demand by atheists not to include a chunk of girder welded at right angles in the 9/11 memorial labeled as a “miracle cross”, as I recall, petty.

    He called it much more than that – and without revealing that, as a member of the 9/11 memorial museum board, he was being sued by that same atheist group.

    Murdoch-level mendacity by omission.

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