Why Fox News Continues to Roll

Posted: December 28, 2010 in Consumer Power, Curation

It’s about time. People don’t have any.
For the ninth straight year Fox News is cable television’s top News Network. This year, it beat CNN and MSNBC combined.

And, the top five cable news programs among 25-54 year-old viewers were all on Fox: The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, Glenn Beck, On the Record and, get this, The O’Reilly Factor repeat show.

This year, for the first time, MSNBC has moved into second place, with CNN dropping to third place. CNN’s marquee shows –Anderson Cooper’s 360 and Parker-Spitzer have been extremely weak.

Politics and prejudices aside, there is a central theme to this change, and it’s not an altogether positive one. I don’t believe this is about one political opinion versus another. I believe this is about people wanting, and needing, to form opinions faster and with less work on their own part.

It is, frankly, easier for someone to turn on either Fox News or MSNBC, listen to the frequent opinion expressed, right or left, and benchmark themselves against that opinion rather than forming their own opinion based on independent thinking.

So if a new Supreme Court Justice was named tomorrow, more people would check out what Fox and MSNBC said about him or her, and then quickly decide whether or not they were in favor or opposed to approving the candidate. “If Fox (or MSNBC) like him, so do I,” a viewer can decide, (or the opposite) based totally on that viewer’s political stance and how it relates to Fox or MSNBC.

In the past, many of those people would have spent the time with a more objective outlet, like CNN or the New York Times, done more research of the candidate, and made up their own minds. Now, it’s just faster to have someone do that for you.

It’s a bad thing for democracy. We are creating a less-informed but more opinionated public.

By the way, it does not mean that more objective sources CAN’T be more interesting. They just aren’t. In an effort to appear totally unbiased, CNN ridded itself of opinion or emotion. You CAN express opinions and still present a balanced report. It takes more work on the news gathering side to both report and curate.

But that will be the future of Journalism.

  1. […] CBS Marketwatch CEO Larry Kramer blogs about MSNBC and Fox News on his blog, C-Scape. In a nutshell, Kramer argues that today’s busy media […]

  2. […] is the knowledge deficit a problem? Larry Kramer says, “It’s a bad thing for democracy. We are creating a less-informed but more opinionated […]

  3. Mitchell says:

    There’s another way of looking at this. I don’t know anyone who’s the slightest bit politically engaged who gets their news primarily from TV any more – I know I very seldom watch any more, and I’m a complete news junkie. It seems obviously self-evident, but the internet is the number one source for news.

    So the only people still watching TV news are people that aren’t savvy news consumers who don’t really care that much about it, so of course the highest ratings go to the lowest common denominator. Basically, because we’ve been starved of quality news on TV for so long – we’ve given up watching. TV news is redundant to news junkies.

    • Phil says:

      Mitchell, you’re right! At least, it sounds right, so I’ll go with it :0)

      That’s an interesting possibility. I work for small regional TV and am in my 60s. The young’uns (my IT colleagues) get their news and video diet from the web, and in the past 2 years I haven’t watched any TV either. I’m totally ‘in-house’ video at home and Internet fed for news & reading, except the Kindle.

      No-one under 30 in my acquaintance watches live TV – except my generation, who will all freak out shortly when analog TV is switched off and they need to confront the word ‘digital.’

      These under-30s are the same generation who got a PS1 when they were 10 and played Doom on a DOS PC.

      Television doesn’t factor any more, like radio, which left the public consciousness of this city 15 years ago, and is on the same slide.

  4. […] TVNewser, we find media executive Larry Kramer opining that it is Fox News and MSNBC that are major contributors to a less informed but more […]

    • Linda says:

      At least Fox lets you know when the conservatiuve voice(HOST) speaks &/or the Liberal !! The “NEWS” is presented as NEWS…..NO OPINION until panel discusses… (with 2 Liberal & 1 or 2 conseratives on the panel)!
      MSNBC, CNN,ABC,NBC are progressive and hide who they really are & try to paint their “news” as NEWS when in fact it is ALL PROGRESSIVE ?(Liberal) OPINION…NOT NEWS!!!!!!!

  5. i think you have to be a dem. to beleave the cr p that your staff or fans write . uncleev@hotmail.com

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