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Sun Jan 23, 2022, 02:59 PM

Cable news is dying, but older viewers won't let it go

I wanted to discuss this a little bit, because it seems like many people are watching cable news nonstop and placing great importance on what is said on it. I'm using CNN as an example, because I happened to see their 2021 ratings this morning.

Overall, CNN averaged 1,078,000 total viewers in prime time, 268,000 adults 25-54 in prime time, 773,000 total viewers across the 24-hour day and 185,000 adults 25-54 across the 24-hour in 2021


Let's look at this. CNN in prime time is getting less than 300k viewers under 54.

You know what gets over 300,000 views? Reaction videos on YouTube. ASMR artists. Pam's Home Cooking 'Splosion Extravaganza. (She mixes folksy with ramen!)

In a nation of 340 million people, 300,000 viewers is 0.08%. Even mixing clips on YouTube or shared on websites, this is a vanishingly small number of people under 54 bothering about these overpaid, know-nothing talking heads.

Cable news importance is probably one of the most imbalanced things in our media ecosystem. Who is paying attention? Politicians and other media figures. It's a tiny little bubble they all exist in. When someone retires from politics, here's your cable news paycheck. Back scratches all around.

So all the drama, nonsense, bloviating, "Hey, this person on my tv is wrong!" angst doesn't really mean anything. No one sees it. It's a niche TV show you're watching. It's the Matlock of politics.

If people would stop watching, it would die. If people would stop spreading it, it would die.

And it deserves to die. It serves this country not at all. No, not even the ones we like.

23 replies, 1631 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cable news is dying, but older viewers won't let it go (Original post)
Sympthsical Jan 2022 OP
WarGamer Jan 2022 #1
Delphinus Jan 2022 #2
WarGamer Jan 2022 #4
RKP5637 Jan 2022 #5
RKP5637 Jan 2022 #3
Sympthsical Jan 2022 #6
brooklynite Jan 2022 #8
katmondoo Jan 2022 #11
Sherman A1 Jan 2022 #17
Demsrule86 Jan 2022 #19
SWBTATTReg Jan 2022 #7
JohnSJ Jan 2022 #10
LiberalFighter Jan 2022 #9
DFW Jan 2022 #15
LiberalFighter Jan 2022 #23
Mr.Bill Jan 2022 #12
PortTack Jan 2022 #13
kcr Jan 2022 #14
Sherman A1 Jan 2022 #16
Midnight Writer Jan 2022 #18
onenote Jan 2022 #20
Buckeye_Democrat Jan 2022 #21
hunter Jan 2022 #22

Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:01 PM

1. We'll be in sad shape if the majority of the population get its news from...

TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Maybe we already do?

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:03 PM

2. Agreed.

[link:https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1017&pid=707224|
I think this other thread here on DU gives you the answer to your question - it is a powerful little film.

(edit as link was wrong place)

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Response to Delphinus (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:06 PM

4. shockingly good but must admit a tear in my eye

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Response to Delphinus (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:08 PM

5. Excellent!!! n/t

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:04 PM

3. I'm beginning to think the majority of people in the US have no concept of the

dangerous waters we are treading in.

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:14 PM

6. Cable news isn't really news, though

They might have some vague information sometimes, and they're really useful during breaking stories like disasters.

But cherry-picked information, thinly sourced reports, narrative spinning, speculation, and opinion are not news and information.

I was watching something the other day, an MSNBC clip on YouTube. I realized halfway through, all the sourcing was "Someone on Twitter said," and the entire segment was the anchor and commentators reacting and speculating to what the guy on Twitter said.

It's not news. And if that's news, fine. Then it's not journalism. Unless whatever I add to my Facebook feed is considered journalism. In which case, where is my Edward R Murrow nomination? I did heroic reporting about how it was windy the other day.

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:20 PM

8. They don't...

...the internet tallies were just a ranking comparison to cable news.

People continue to get their news primarily from the broadcast networks:

ABC: 8.7 MILLION

NBC: 7.3 MILLION

CBS: 5.4 MILLION

People watch cable news in the morning to catch up on events, and in the evening to have news personalities tell them things they already believe.

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:39 PM

11. I am tired of these guys now. Stay long enough and it becomes the same old stuff

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 05:59 PM

17. Will we be any worse off than what we get from the 24/7 Cable Noise Infotainment TV?

I cannot thing that we will be.

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 07:32 PM

19. Cable news is worst IMHO.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:17 PM

7. Everybody is getting (well, not everybody) sick and tired of having everything analyzed,

commented on, non-stop, 24x7, and they act as though we have no minds of our own.

To which, I am sick and tired of listening to them espouse their feelings, their opinions, etc. WHO CARES!?

This is kind of like the so-called friend that you run into at the bar or store, who 'knows everything' and they got to tell you that they 'know everything'. YIKES! Get away from me!

Here, on DU, it's ME time (and the rest of us here on DU, DU time). I don't need any damn fool on TV or a lot of dumb a&& politicians to tell me a damn thing.

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:32 PM

10. +++

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:29 PM

9. Most people probably don't read their local newspapers or watch their local news.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 05:45 PM

15. In Germany, we still do both, but not 24/7

That seems to be a particularly American phenomenon.

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Response to DFW (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 09:01 PM

23. Local news is only on in the morning, noon, 5-6, and 11. It is not 24/7

I don't watch morning or noon. I catch 5 for one network and switch to 6 for the other network. 11 I might watch 15 minutes. Local news is also only 30 minute segments.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 03:46 PM

12. I enjoy watching some of the hosts on MSNBC,

but having some training and working in the field a little myself, I have never considered it to be journalism. At its best it's editorializing and entertainment.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 05:12 PM

13. It does deserve to die! I haven't watched other than 1/6 for years...don't miss it

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 05:24 PM

14. I am under 54 and I rarely watch cable news on TV

I'll sometimes tune in whenever there's a big, breaking story receiving live coverage, but that's about it. I scan the headlines on their websites about once a day, though.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 05:58 PM

16. Good!

The sooner the better!

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 06:08 PM

18. Cable news segments are posted all over the internet, including here.

The actual live viewing numbers are a little misleading.

I don't watch FOX News, but I can tell you pretty much what is going on there on a given day because I will see it posted online, or I will hear about it from my neighbors.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 07:51 PM

20. Wildly misleading headline

CNN had its second highest number of viewers ever in 2021. And 2020 was the network's best year. Doesn't seem like its "dying."

Yes, CNN viewership was down in 2021 from 2020, but that is the normal pattern -- election years attract higher viewership than non-election years. But the drop off in 2021 was less than the drop off 2017. CNN is one of the top five viewed cable networks (not just cable news networks).

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 07:58 PM

21. And the evening news used to be 15 minutes long...

... until 1963, yet I'd guess that Americans are more misinformed now.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/evening-news-marks-golden-anniversary-of-30-minute-broadcast/

(CBS News) NEW YORK -- On Sept. 2, 1963, what had been, since 1948, a 15-minute broadcast, anchored first by Douglas Edwards and then Walter Cronkite, doubled to 30 minutes overnight.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jan 23, 2022, 08:19 PM

22. The younger people in my family, basically anyone younger than thirty five...

... don't pay any attention at all to "traditional" television or radio. They stream everything. No cable, no broadcast.

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