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TV And Online News Audiences Declined During Biden's First 100 Days: Report

TV And Online News Audiences Declined During Biden's First 100 Days: Report

TV and digital news consumption has gone into a tailspin during Joe Biden’s first 100 days as president.

What Happened: According to The Hill, major cable news operations have experienced shrinking audiences since Donald Trump left the White House and Biden moved in. Data compiled by the ratings company Nielsen found Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) subsidiary MSNBC shrinking from an average of 1.3 million household viewers in the last week of January, shortly after Biden’s inauguration, to 868,000 for the week ending April 25.

At CNN, an AT&T (NYSE: T) subsidiary, viewership numbers over the same period slumped from 1.2 million to 740,000. The news operation at Fox (NASDAQ: FOX) fared somewhat better, dipping from late January’s 1.3 million to late April’s 1.2 million.

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What Else Happened: Over at the traditional broadcast channels, the evening news programs have also been shedding viewers. “World News Tonight,” seen on The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) subsidiary ABC, had 1.8 million fewer viewers in the 100 days after Biden became president. NBC’s “Nightly News” wound up with 1.7 million fewer viewers in that same period, while the evening news broadcast of ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC) was down 1.2 million viewers.

Print journalism is also in the same leaking boat. Among the media resources reporting diminished web traffic during this period are The New York Times (NYSE: NYT), the Washington Post, News Corp’s (NASDAQ: NWSA) Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Vox and BuzzFeed.

Scott Robson, a research analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence, told The Hill that he was uncertain if the declining numbers can be attributed directly to the change of presidents.

“There was a ramp-up in 2020 starting in March with COVID-19 and continuing on,” Robson said. “And yes, things have fallen off since January, but they are now consistent with 2019 numbers, and it’s hard to say if it was because of Trump leaving office or more because COVID-19 news is slowing down.”


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