Former President Donald Trump would often quip that, despite the incessant animosity and attacks, the mainstream media secretly loved him and the stellar ratings that their wall-to-wall coverage of his every action earned.
As it turns out, Trump apparently wasn’t joking, as a recent analysis indicated that viewership ratings have plummeted — across the board — for prime-time cable news programs, The Daily Caller reported.
The shocking numbers revealed that CNN was the hardest hit, but indicated that MSNBC suffered a sharp decline, too. Right-leaning Fox News was also not immune from the ratings drop-off.
Huge ratings decline
That analysis came by way of Variety’s VIP, which compared the Nielsen TV ratings for the top three prime-time programs across the three major cable news networks between the first week of December 2019 through the first week of March 2021.
It is worth noting that quite a bit happened in that time frame, most notably the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, President Joe Biden’s inauguration, and the second failed impeachment trial of the former president, among other newsworthy events.
One aspect of the analysis that became crystal clear is that — regardless of how much they may have complained about him on a daily basis — the mainstream media certainly enjoyed much higher viewership ratings while Trump was still in the White House.
Prime-time hosts take a beating
According to the numbers, shared with the public by NBC News’ Noah Rothman, CNN’s Don Lemon suffered the biggest drop-off, losing 32.5% of his viewers, followed by a 32.2% decline for Anderson Cooper and the loss of 28.5% of Chris Cuomo’s audience.
At MSNBC, host Chris Hayes saw 16.7% of his viewers disappear, Lawrence O’Donnell experienced a 17.6% decline in his audience, and even top-ranked Rachel Maddow lost 9.1% of her viewers.
The Fox News hosts suffered from the declining ratings as well, with Laura Ingraham down 9.2%, Sean Hannity by 11.9%, and a loss of 4.8% for prime-time host Tucker Carlson.
Double yikes, if advertising $$ is your thing. pic.twitter.com/jSTKp5AaOm
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) March 12, 2021
Rothman also noted that — in terms of advertising dollars and the targeted demographic of adults age 25-54 — the plummeting ratings were even more severe for nearly all of those prime-time cable hosts, with significant double-digit declines for all with the exception of Carlson’s show.
Once again, Trump has been proven right in that, for all of the constant bluster and outrage, the media absolutely loved Trump as president due to the substantial and lucrative ratings with which his presidency consistently blessed them.