For more than four years, many in the mainstream media attracted viewers through incessantly criticizing and vilifying the Trump administration.
As many — including former President Donald Trump — predicted, the same outlets are finding it difficult to navigate the political landscape now that he is gone.
Viewership drops across the board
Variety Intelligence Platform conducted a recent analysis showing that new organizations are experiencing something it dubbed a “Trump Slump,” according to the Daily Caller.
The analysis studied television viewership numbers among prime-time cable news programs during the period between Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 in comparison to the days between March 1 to 5. The results showed a significant drop-off across the board in the latter span.
Among CNN’s leading prime-time programming, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper 360, and Cuomo Prime Time each saw a decline of roughly 30%.
On MSNBC, All In with Chris Hayes and Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell saw dropoffs of about 17%. The audience for The Rachel Maddow was down by a comparatively lower 9.1%.
Even Fox News Channel was not immune from the trend, though it was generally less significant. The Ingraham Angle and Hannity both lost about 10% of their viewers while Tucker Carlson Tonight experienced a drop of just under 5%.
“Taking on a much lower profile”
As Variety Intelligence Platform concluded, “it is clear that CNN is the network that misses Trump the most,” declaring that the network’s “tirades” against the former president “lack their zip with their protagonist taking on a much lower profile post-election.”
Meanwhile, Fox News host Sean Hannity appears to have seen a steeper decline than others on the network because he “may have leaned more on his association to Trump than the others.”
The so-called “slump” was delayed until after President Joe Biden’s inauguration due to the Democratic Party’s impeachment trial against Trump.
As a result, Trump remained the focal point of many news broadcasts despite the fact that he had already been banned from leading social media platforms, thus maintaining elevated ratings for cable news networks.
For his part, Trump predicted in 2017 that the mainstream media would actually work to usher in a second term of his presidency, declaring: “Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because, without me, their ratings are going down the tubes.”