Cable News Audience Tapering Off, Online News Video Growing

Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 07:40 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Cable TV viewership is declining, local news audiences are growing, and the number of Americans watching the network's evening news broadcasts is vast and stable, according to the latest report from the Pew Research Journalism Project.

Meanwhile, 36 percent of U.S. adults watch news video online. This is about the same audience percentage that gets its news from Facebook or cable news channels, Pew reported. Most of this demographic is comprised of younger people.

CNN, Fox News and MSNBC were all down in prime time viewership though Fox still led the pack.

Some 22.6 million viewers watch the nightly network news broadcasts, with NBC, though in decline, still leading in the ratings. This is far more than Fox's 1.75 million prime time viewers. ABC's "Good Morning America" continues to be out front among the network's morning news shows.

Revenues for Fox News Channel continue to increase, with CNN enjoying more modest gains, and MSNBC revenues steadily declining.

More people are willing to watch news very early in the morning. And the numbers of viewers ready to view local television news is on the upswing.

The overall decline in newsstand sales of weekly news magazines is mostly unabated.
The British weekly news magazine The Economist, which had made major inroads in the U.S. market, is in newsstand decline, as is The Atlantic, and The Week. But The New Yorker has enjoyed a 16 percent circulation increase, while Time is up 6 percent.

Most Americans are exposed to traditional radio though about one-third of those surveyed said they'd listened to online radio in the course of their week. The audience for podcasting is down two points to 27 percent in 2013. Satellite radio subscriptions grew moderately, with Sirius XM boasting 25.6 million subscribers, up from 23.9 million in 2012.

Newspapers are hemorrhaging fewer readers, in fact, showing a 3 percent circulation increase, if Website visits and distributions to non-subscribers are factored. However, despite healthier digital ad revenue, overall newspaper income continued to decline.

There are now some 38,000 full-time traditional newsroom jobs, down from about 54,000 ten years ago, Pew reported.

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