Although some viewers had expressed concerns prior to Election Day, the Fox News Channel has seen a notable decline in ratings and favorability among much of its once-loyal audience over the past few weeks.
As evidence of the trend, the network’s morning programming was topped in the ratings by MSNBC’s Morning Joe last week for the first time in nearly two decades.
Fox News slips on TV and online
In fact, MSNBC dominated its top rival throughout their respective daytime lineups — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — all week by a margin of roughly 120,000 viewers. This reportedly marked the first time Fox News fell to MSNBC since 2001.
A number of prominent critics — including President Donald Trump — expressed disappointment in the network’s election coverage, in particular, the decision to call the Arizona race for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Prior to the election, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch suggested that the network’s ratings would slide in the event of a Trump loss due to reduced interest in politics. Other statistics, however, indicate that additional factors are at play in the steep decline in viewership.
For example, a pair of Morning Consult polls showed that one in three Republicans held a favorable view of Fox News as of Nov. 2, but that number dropped to just 54% the week after the election.
Although Fox News Channel’s more pro-Trump prime-time programming has maintained a lead over MSNBC, it is slipping as the latter’s viewership grew 30% since the election.
Trump sounds off on network’s coverage
In addition to shedding television viewers, the Miami Herald reported that YouTube views for Fox News content were also down considerable.
Meanwhile, conservative outlets including Newsmax and One America News saw huge spikes in views on YouTube and within the limited markets where their programs are available.
The shift signals that conservatives, and in particular supporters of the president, are looking for an alternative to the Fox News Channel.
Trump himself has praised smaller organizations that provide coverage that is more supportive of his administration.
In July, he tweeted: “[Fox News] weekend afternoons is the worst! Getting into [CNN] and MSDNC [sic] territory. Watch [OANN] & [Newsmax] instead. Much better!”