While everyone is hurting from the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the news networks are booming.
Every day, the cable news stations — occasionally accompanied by the main networks — are doing hour after hour of coverage of the virus. In almost every instance, the coverage is hysterical, with anchors hyping up fear and trembling among Americans (ecept for Fox News, of course).
CNN has nearly tripling its primetime audience, but not enough to catch Fox.
“From March 16-20, Fox News saw its ratings climb 89 percent over the same time last year, to 881,000 primetime viewers per day ages 25-54, while CNN was up 193 percent to 790,000 and MSNBC climbed 56 percent to 570,000, according to Nielsen Media Research,” Newsweek reported. “For viewers of all ages in primetime, Fox News saw a 60 percent increase to 4.4 million as CNN spiked 119 percent to 2.2 million and MSNBC gained 37 percent to 2.9 million.”
During the week, Fox News had nine of the Top 10 programs on cable news, No. 1 being Hannity, with 4.6 million viewers. Nielsen Media Research also says Fox News delivered its highest rated Monday-Friday of the year last week. Conservative host Sean Hannity in particular has been on a roll during the coronavirus emergency, two weeks ago having notched his second-highest rated week in his show’s 12-year history.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” and the “NBC Nightly News” “had an average of about 12 million viewers for each of their newscasts last week, among the biggest totals for all network shows, according to Nielsen. Those figures are roughly the same as an average ‘Monday Night Football’ game. The audience for ‘World News Tonight’ was on track to be its largest since 2000, and the number of viewers watching ‘NBC Nightly News’ was the most the show had drawn since 2005,” Dnyuz.com reported.
In all, an average of 32.2 million people watched the evening newscasts last week, a 42 percent increase compared with a year ago. Younger people have tuned in, too: There was a 67 percent rise among adults between the ages of 25 and 54, according to Nielsen.
The network newscasts have not attracted that kind of audience in years. While the Trump presidency has been a boon for the cable news networks — which have consistently set ratings records since 2017 — it has given no such lift to the evening newscasts.
But the liberal networks still hate President Trump.
“Six television networks began showing President Donald Trump’s briefing on the coronavirus outbreak late Monday, but only Fox News Channel stuck it out to the end nearly two hours later,” the Associated Press reported. “It was a notable turning point in coverage of the president’s now-daily briefings. Networks had been starting to hear criticism of how much time they have been showing the president answering questions live, reminiscent of a similar debate in the past about showing Trump’s campaign rallies.”
ABC, CBS and NBC all covered Trump at the beginning of Monday’s briefing, which began about 6:10 p.m. Eastern. After 20 minutes, they switched to the network evening newscasts, never to return to Trump. The president spoke until shortly after 8 p.m.
The White House on Monday blasted the liberal networks. “Pretty disgraceful that @CNN and @MSNBC have both cut away from this @WhiteHouse briefing with @realDonaldTrump and @Mike_Pence during a global pandemic. Thank you to @FoxNews for keeping Americans informed. #COVID19,” White House spokesman Judd Deere wrote on Twitter.