NEW YORK — The cable news world was rocked yesterday with the release of January’s prime-time ratings numbers, as former ratings juggernaut Fox News took a massive hit and saw its audience dwindle in size and drawing, on average, two to three times the audience of MSNBC and four to five times the audience of CNN.
“The Fox News Reign of Terror is over,” announced Sharon Otterman, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of MSNBC. “They have just suffered their worst month in the 25-54 demographic since August 2001, and their lowest total day ratings since June 2008! Hell, they don’t even hold the top ten shows in cable news anymore! Only the top nine!”
Otterman was referring to the industry-shaking news that MSNBC darling Rachel Maddow’s show, entitled The Rachel Maddow Show, leaped ahead of such established Fox ratings hogs as Fox and Friends, Studio B, and the 11 p.m. repeat of the O’Reilly factor to become the 10th most-watched show on cable news, averaging an estimated 1.086 million viewers during the month of January.
Shows one through nine continue to air on Fox News. As do shows eleven through fifteen.
“It is certainly a disheartening trend,” admitted Roger Ailes, President of Fox News Channel. “The very idea that all The Situation Room [CNN’s Top-rated show at #20] needs to do to score as many viewers as our third or fourth highest-ranked shows is to triple its audience is incredibly off-putting.”
Analysts who have devoured these numbers attribute Fox’s sharp decline to the fact that they may have lost stature after repeatedly and forcefully predicting a Mitt Romney landslide during the 2012 Presidential Election even after vote totals came in proving otherwise, as well as to the inevitable fact that very old people (Fox’s single largest demographic) tend to die and therefore stop watching television.
Michael Clemente, Fox News Channel’s Executive Vice President in charge of News has another theory. “It’s Obama,” he says. “He’s tanking the economy to force more and more members of our key 75-90 demographic out of their homes and into nursing homes. Now instead of ten 80-year-olds watching ten TVs tuned to Fox News, you get ten 80-year-olds gathered around a television set tuned to the Cartoon Network because somebody’s great-grandson visited last week and nobody knows how to change the damn channel!”