Unsettling Fox News Developments Should Unnerve White House
While Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity will end 2018 as cable news' most popular personality, he's been slumping in the ratings since the midterm elections and ominous stories related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the president.
His show averaged 2.76 million viewers since the election through Dec. 17, down 19 percent compared with the previous month, the Nielsen company said. Among the 25-to-54-year-old demo most coveted by advertisers, he's down 30 percent. Competitors Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and Chris Cuomo on CNN are up in each measurement.
Maddow has been beating Hannity outright in December, a turnaround from October. During that month, when Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation drama dominated the news, Hannity's audience routinely exceeded Maddow's by about a million people each night, Nielsen said.
"I think it's a reflection of the mood of his audience," said Mark Lukasiewicz, dean of Hofstra University's communications school and a longtime NBC executive. "They can't be happy with what is coming out of Washington every day."
A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found 83 percent of Hannity's audience identified themselves as conservative.