By David Seaman
Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.
As TVNewser‘s Chris Ariens reported today: “CNN bore the brunt of the downward trend the news networks experienced this month and for much of the first quarter, when compared to the busy first few months of 2011.
For the month of March, CNN was down -50% in total viewers and down -60% in A25-54 viewers (Total Day). The net was down -21% in Total Viewers and down -26% in A25-54 viewers (Primetime) compared to March 2011.”
The viewer exodus is not limited to CNN, though. Roger Ailes’ aging heavyweight champion FOX News “was not immune to a loss in viewership for the month of March and for the first quarter of 2012. For the month, Fox News is down -17%,” according to another post by Ariens.
Perhaps, if I may be so bold, this is what happens to you when you continue to report stories that no longer resemble — even remotely — what your own viewers see outside their windows and apartments.
CNN has barely covered the rapidly growing Occupy and Tea Party protests around the country, and as the clip from Current TV’s Cenk Uygur below points out, CNN gave zero prime-time coverage to the NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions, arguably one of the most devastating rollbacks of Americans’ civil rights ever.
Perhaps viewers are sick and tired of the same half-assed recycled stories about Kim Kardashian, the same shiny Piers Morgan celebrity interviews, and perhaps a war weary public is also not so quick to slurp up CNN’s incoherent Iran warmongering.
Perhaps viewers are disgusted with CNN’s packaging of the 2012 election year — a critical time regardless of where you stand politically — into a crass sports event, heavy on special effects and “analysis,” and quite thin on actual reporting.
Now, I don’t think CNN’s viewers have suddenly decided not to consume news any more. I just think they are going online to do it.
They are turning to independent shows, like mine, and like The Young Turks… they are turning to news sites like The Huffington Post and Daily Caller… and they are turning to each other: social sharing services such as Reddit and StumbleUpon now command a massive audience, and can lift an obscure blog post into the mainstream consciousness within a matter of hours.
Maybe your viewers no longer need you.