CNN Paying a Lot Less Attention to FOX News After Zucker Resignation
“In January, CNN mentioned ‘Fox’ on-air an average of 100 times per week. But in the first three weeks of February, the average number of ‘Fox’ mentions dwindled by two-thirds down to 34.”
If you have watched any amount of CNN over the last several years, you know that one of their favorite topics to cover is FOX News. You really get a sense that their media reporter Brian Stelter spends his entire day watching FOX News only to report about it on his network.
It has actually become a joke on the right. CNN. The first word on what’s happening on FOX News.
Here’s a good recent example:
Brian Stelter announces that Sean Hannity announces that Bob Beckel had died. https://t.co/NfulrueNUg
— Brett From L.A. (@ItsBrettFromLA) February 22, 2022
Yet ever since former network president Jeff Zucker’s ouster, their interest in the FOX News Channel has waned significantly.
Colby Hall writes at Mediaite:
CNN’s On-Air Mentions of Fox News Way Down Since Jeff Zucker’s Ouster
Jeff Zucker resigned as president of CNN on Feb. 2 and, following his unceremonious ouster, many were left to wonder what a post-Zucker CNN might look like. While it’s still too early to say anything definitively, there is one indication that CNN could be less focused on covering its competitor Fox News going forward…
But how does a rival network report the political rhetoric of a competitor without promoting the competitor? If the consistently absurd and asinine comments made by Tucker Carlson are covered regularly on CNN, eventually many viewers are going to tune into Fox News at 8 p.m. to see what he’s saying. In fact, a recent Nielsen/MRI poll showed that more young democrats tune into Tucker Carlson Tonight over any other show.
But according to transcripts, there has been something of an editorial shift since Feb. 2 when Jeff Zucker left CNN’s Hudson Yards offices for the last time as the network’s president.
In January, CNN mentioned “Fox” on-air an average of 100 times per week. But in the first three weeks of February, the average number of “Fox” mentions dwindled by two-thirds down to 34. If one looks at average daily mentions, Fox was uttered roughly 13 times per day from Jan. 1 to Feb. 2, and five times per day, on average, since.
Brad Slager of RedState suggests that with Zucker gone, Warner Media is taking a more active role in what gets covered on CNN and could be responsible for the change:
That February 2 date is significant, as that was the date Zucker shocked his minions by announcing he was stepping down from his post as network president. Since that historical marker, CNN has backed off of the throttle on the Fox criticism vehicle. Making this all the starker was the past week seeing particular focus on Fox News and its handling of the latest report from the Durham investigation. Had there not been that elevated coverage of accusing the competitor of overreacting, the numbers regarding the diminished focus on Fox would be even sharper.
This would point to a couple of realities emerging from the ever-evolving telenovela in Atlanta. The first is that the stated reason for Zucker’s forced exit – his unrevealed yet widely known affair with a staffer – was the justification, but not the basis. Just ahead of the Chris Cuomo suspension, then firing, I suggested that both he and Jeff Zucker could be facing a reckoning, based on the fact that Warner Media was taking a more direct involvement in the network, and that corporate standards with WM were more rigid and clearly laid out. CNN has been positioned as a problem needing to be addressed.
Either way, FOX News doesn’t seem too concerned. Joseph A. Wulfsohn reports that they’re still dominating in the ratings, even among Democrats:
Fox News continues cable news dominance as more Democrats in key demo tune in over MSNBC, CNN
Fox News Channel maintains its dominance on cable news and has become the most-watched news channel among a surprising sector of the country.
Fox News averaged 1.5 million total day viewers and 237,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demo from Feb. 7-13, finishing as the only basic cable network to surpass the one-million viewer benchmark and crushed the competition in primetime averaging 2.4 million total viewers and 367,000 viewers in the demo…
However, recent data shared by Nielsen MRI Fusion show Fox News becoming the preferred cable news channel among Democrats in the key 25-54 demo.
The data collected in October 2021 shows Fox News earning the largest share of liberal viewers in the demo with a whopping 42% while just 33% tune into CNN and 25% tune into MSNBC.
CNN is in serious need of an overhaul. When the network gets new leadership, that person would be wise to clean house.
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My attention span for CNN has remained the same post-Zucker as it was intra-Zucker: zero.
I think the last time I watched CNN voluntarily was when Bernard Shaw hid under a desk during the first Gulf war.
The last time I actively watched CNN at length was back in 1987, when I was in high school.
Now, I get my passing dose going to the bathroom at work, clown shoes and wigs on display.
And, this matters… how?
PS: can we lose that annoying drop-down on the mobile version of the site?
Translate “Zucker” from the Yiddish and you get “sucker,”
Now we know why Jeff’s middle name is Rooster.
Comes a time in the Great Ratings Slide that plugging your competition every five minutes becomes counter-survival.
If CNN’s viewers actually believed Carlson was spouting nonsensical and dangerous rhetoric, they wouldn’t be leaving CNN in droves to watch Tucker’s show. CNN made the mistake of revealing to its viewers that there was an alternate source of opinion and commentary, and the sliver presented by CNN was enticing enough (i.e., it seemed reasonable) that viewers wanted to see more of it, and some of those viewers permanently jumped ship.
Because people usually consume opinion that reinforces their own thoughts, this means those who went from CNN to Fox found that reinforcement at Fox. There are likely more conservative-minded people in this country than the simple self-reported dichotomy of conservative/liberal would suggest.
Idealism vs pragmatism.