They needed him: cable news is experiencing a “Trump Slump”

With no President Donald Trump to attack day-in and day-out, the mainstream media’s television ratings are falling.

Variety Intelligence Platform (VIP) published an analysis this week showing that cable news viewership ratings are down across the board. 

The numbers

What VIP did was compare the television viewership numbers of major news outlets in two different periods: the period from November 30th to December 4th, 2020, and the period from March 1st to March 5th, 2021.

What VIP found was that the television ratings for CNN’s, MSNBC’s, and even the Fox News Channel’s primetime programs have all fallen significantly from three months ago.

CNN’s “Tonight with Don Lemon,” has fallen by 32.5 percent, “Anderson Cooper 360,” by 32.2 percent,” and “Cuomo Prime Time” by 28.5 percent.

The television viewership for MSNBC’s“All in with Chris Hayes” dropped by 16.7 percent, “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” by 17.6 percent, and “Rachel Maddow Show” by 9.1 percent.

And, the Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” saw a decline of 9.2 percent, “Hannity,” a decline of 11.9 percent, and “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” a decline of 4.8 percent.

Facts vs. Conclusions

We always need to distinguish between the empirical facts from the conclusions drawn from those facts. The empirical fact here is that cable news’ television ratings have declined. The conclusion that Variety suggests is that it’s because of Trump.

We don’t know that for sure, but it certainly does make sense, and it is something that many predicted would happen.

As Variety reports: “it’s clear that CNN is the network that misses Trump the most. Trump-bashing tirades lack their zip with their protagonist taking on a much lower profile post-election.”

It also ought to be noted that VIP strategically picked the time frame to avoid the period which saw the January 6th Capitol riot and the second impeachment trial of former President Trump. Obviously, one would expect cable news viewership to increase during such events and to fall after them, and it did.

If VIP’s conclusion is correct, then the question is how is cable news going to generate viewership again without Trump? It would appear as though the mainstream media might end up needing Trump back as much as America does.

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