Analysis shows sudden dramatic decline in CNN’s anti-Fox News coverage

Due in part to ideological differences, but also in furtherance of the perpetual cable news TV ratings war, CNN in recent years has devoted substantial portions of its on-air time to launching attacks and sharing negative reports against its domineering competitor Fox News.

That trend appears to have suddenly changed in recent weeks, though, as an analysis of CNN’s transcripts has shown a dramatic decrease in the rate at which “Fox” was uttered on-air by CNN personalities, PJ Media reported.

Interestingly enough, the noted change in coverage appears to coincide with the sudden and unexpected — and likely forced — resignation of former chief executive Jeff Zucker, who had seemingly transformed the news network into a non-stop anti-Trump and anti-Fox hatefest over the past several years.

Anti-Fox coverage down significantly

It was actually Mediaite that first reported upon the noticeable decline in Fox News-related coverage on CNN in the first couple weeks of the “post-Zucker” era at the network, per an analysis of program transcripts from before and after Zucker left.

In January, while Zucker was still at the helm, CNN reportedly mentioned Fox News on-air approximately 100 times per week, or an average of 13 times every day.

Since the beginning of February, though, that weekly average of Fox News mentions has plummeted to just 34, or about five times per day.

Excuses, excuses

Somewhat laughably, the liberal outlet Mediaite speculated that change was perhaps due to CNN suddenly realizing that its incessant coverage of what its rival Fox News was saying might actually have been driving some of its own viewers over to check out Fox for themselves.

It also pondered the possibility that CNN’s viewers were no longer quite as enthralled as they once may have been with the almost gleefully self-righteous and sanctimonious anti-Fox coverage coming from the CNN personalities.

Of course, that assumes that CNN even still has enough viewers for any of that to matter, which is debatable at this point, given its precipitous drop in viewership over the past year, according to an analysis of TV ratings figures by Forbes.

Over the course of the past 12 months, CNN’s primetime viewership has dropped by nearly 70 percent, both among total viewers as well as among the key demographic of adults age 25 – 54. For the sake of comparison, though, Fox News saw its viewership increase over the same time span, about 2 percent among total viewers and around 6 percent among the key demo targeted by advertisers.

What is really driving the sudden change?

PJ Media had its own ideas to possibly explain the apparent editorial shift in Zucker’s absence, though both seemingly rely upon a self-awareness for CNN that has typically appeared to be lacking.

The first possibility was the realization that transforming CNN into “the All-Trump/All-Fox Panic Porn network” had backfired since former President Donald Trump is no longer in office, while the second suggestion was the potential fear at CNN that Fox News could flip the script and start to devote large portions of its own on-air time to covering the many scandals plaguing its competitor right now.

Latest News