CNN moves to No. 1, Fox drops in post-election ratings shakeup: Will it last?

Former President Donald Trump isn’t the only one dealing with loss after Election Day.Fox News, the longtime top-ranked cable news network and, until recently, Trump’s favorite media outlet, has lost its No. 1 status, too, with CNN now holding the top spot.From Election Day (Nov. 3) through Inauguration Day (Jan. 20), when Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in to succeed Trump as president, CNN was the most-watched cable news network in both total viewers (1.8 million) and those 25-to-54 (501,000), the key news demographic, according to Nielsen ratings.Fox dropped to third (1.5 million) across the day, trailing MSNBC (1.6 million), although it narrowly leads MSNBC (283,000 to 278,000) among viewers ages 25 to 54.CNN also took over the top spot among viewers in the key demographic in prime time, where Fox features its biggest hitters – opinion hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham – although Fox remains No. 1 overall.The reversal of fortune was most apparent on Inauguration Day, where CNN was No. 1 among news competitors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST with 7.7 million viewers, and Fox finished last among news networks with 2.2 million. (When Trump was inaugurated in 2017, Fox topped the rankings with 8.8 million, while CNN straggled in at No. 5 (2.6 million), ahead of only MSNBC.At Biden inauguration, TV’s familiar images and words offer comfort in turbulent timesRight-wing Newsmax, which drew Trump’s praise as he criticized Fox for being disloyal, enjoyed a huge post-election bump in its tiny viewing base (47,000 in October, 214,000 in November and 225,000 in December).That likely played a role in Fox’s drop, says Brian Hughes, executive vice president at ad firm Magna. Trump, who tweeted support of Newsmax and One America News Network (OAN), had been “disparaging Fox News for a while,” he says. Fox was “on air admitting the election was settled and that Joe Biden won. That seems to have had an impact on its viewer base, because that’s when we start to see this trend happen and the Newsmax audience bump up.”Fox, whose audience includes many Trump supporters, likely took a ratings hit because of the former president’s loss, says Jeffrey McCall, a professor of communications at DePauw University in Indiana.”As Trump departed, I’m sure a lot of his followers were disgruntled or disappointed, in some ways even exhausted. That would explain some of the audience drift away from Fox,” he says. “I think some disgruntled voters did go over to at least sample what was going on at Newsmax and OAN,”  which is unmeasured by Nielsen. “I’d be surprised if that audience (stays there) long term, because I think Fox viewers are relatively loyal and have watched them over a good many years.”How conservative media stoked baseless election-fraud claims that motivated DC riotersOpinion programming performs best for Fox, so it’s no surprise the network added a fourth hour at 7 p.m. EST, currently with a rotating group of hosts, and moved Martha MacCallum’s news-b

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