Is Cable News In Trouble Without Donald Trump?

in LeoFinance2 months ago

The world of broadcast television has been in a world of hurt for more than a decade now. Cord cutting is a real thing that is ongoing at this moment. Each time a new streaming option pops up, that eliminates the need for broadcast television.

A half decade ago, cable news channels were suffering. Their ratings were down which means a loss of money. Advertisers do not pay big bucks for lackluster ratings. This was the predicament they found themselves in.

Fast forward a couple years and the cable new outlets were handed a lifeline: Donald Trump.

To their rating, he was "Mr. Electricity".

Trump was able to generate attention with all he did. Couple this with the dislike of him by the media and it made for the perfect union. Trump bashing because a rating winner. All the cable news channels were able to "channel" this into massive profits.

The problem for them is that Trump is gone. He was replaced by a guy who has the personality of a sheet of paper. Obama had likability and, compared to Biden, Bush 2 was almost interesting.

We also see the Democrats in control of the Congress. This means there is nobody to tar and feather. Trump was an ideal target. Who are they going to attack now? Mitch McConnell? As if anyone cares about him.

News outlets are very expensive to operate. The people sitting in those chairs make some good money. There is also a lot of them. Thus, their shows need to turn some big dollars to be viable.

Unfortunately, since the election, the ratings are dismal.

Here is what it looks like according to Nielson:

In the industry I think the word they use is "ouch".

The numbers were the same for all primetime slots.

All charts are from an article in Variety.

8 PM:


9 PM:


10 PM:


Trump says he will run again. The problem for the media companies that own these channels is that election is not until 2024. Thus, we will not see much of him until 2023. If it is a situation where the Republicans put up noting more than empty garbage cans against him in the primaries, then it really is going to be 2024 before they can hope to cash in any ratings gain.

A major challenge that few discuss when it comes to a situation like this is that 2 years just adds to the death total. In other words, the cable news audience is getting older by the day. The Millennials are not the ones who tune in. With each passing year, broadcast television in general and cable news specifically are seeing their customers passing away.

This is the same situation which ate into the rating of the Network Evening News programs. With the widespread use of cable, suddenly the Boomers tuned into that. Now, the Boomers are getting up there in years. The idea of carrying cable to tune into CNN or FoxNews is not on the agenda of younger people.

Here is the most recent stats on the Baby Boomers:


We also can add in the previous age group, called the Silent Generation.


According to these two graphics, there are roughly 7,800 people in these two age groups each day. These are the demographics who will watch a lot of broadcast television and, thus, cable news.

Certainly, that isn't to say that other age brackets do not tune in. However, we know the older generations are likely to be less technical, thus opting for the traditional methods of media.

The younger generations, who live on their phones and tablets, turn to the internet for all they need. If they do want something off a news channel broadcast, they are more likely to find the clip on YouTube than go through the entire show.

This is especially true if there is nothing exciting happening. Outside the hardcore political junkies, without an attention-getter like Trump, what are these companies going to do? There might be an occasional situation that pops up which will bring in viewers on a temporary basis. However, long term conversion is not apt to happen.

Every good story needs a hero and a villain. Depending upon the perspective that one held, Trump served both those roles. Now the lightning rod is out of the picture.

What do they turn to?

It looks like the companies that own these new channels are going to be suffering on this end of things. Advertising will get tougher to sell as the reality sets in that people are just not tuning in.

By the time 2024 rolls around, there will be near 8 million less people in these demographic groups that the cable news channels depend upon. It looks like these age groups account for 80%-90% of their audience.

This is bound to take a toll on the earnings for these companies. It looks like they better hope and pray that Trump makes a return in a few years. If not, with the broomsticks we see in politics these days, the cable news channels might be entering their death roll.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comment section.

If you found this article informative, please give an upvote and rehive.

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I think the cable companies are on the way down the drain and I am not a fan of Trump. The cable companies need to attract people either with rage-bait or interesting news but the problem is they are so used to bashing Trump and his supporters. There is only so much they can push this when that person is no longer in office. Have you realized that they are blaming Trump when he is not in office for problems they will not solve.

They are so use to use rage-bait from Trump that I do not think they are doing any real journalism anymore. The questions they were so critical of in the past 4 years are no longer asked since the person in office is different. So what happens to people who can't adapt? They get the boot. Unfortunately CNN was the one pushing the narrative the most so I am not surprised they got the highest bump followed by the highest drop of views.

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I dont think they have done any real journalism in a long time, well before Trump.

Trump was a lightning rod and attracted the anger. You are right, now that he is out of office, who is the villain in their sage?

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They should find a way to not only digitize but tokenize as well to remain viable in the near future :D

People should be spending less time watching TV anyway. Unfortunately a lot of it is just moving to another screen because of the demographics shift like you mentioned.

Joe Bidens 1st Press Conference will be a disaster which may in turn get people to turn in to watch for comic relief !

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No matter which party, it is for entertainment purposes only.

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yes, it's all Pomp and Circumstance my friend !

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Well, they have Tucker Carlson, the conservatives love him and not all conservatives all old. John Oliver made a recent piece about him, it's on his youtube channel free to watch

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not all conservatives all old

No they arent but they arent tuning in to cable news, neither are the young liberals.

The above charts show that the majority of the viewers are older.

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How do you explain Tucker Carlson's views ?


Trump bashing was pretty funny, I don't really tune into US politics outside of partnerships and news relevant to Australia but then that kind of stuff never airs. I have to go elsewhere.

Who knows, maybe if they went back to actually reporting and providing information they might get their viewers back. I hold a few media subscriptions but that is solely so I can read what the opposition is writing about us.

I haven't actively watched T.V in probably over a decade. I'll watch movie and Netflix when I get a chance but my T.V is predominantly for my baby boomer mother inlaw and my 4 yo.

Interesting though. My mother in law has my wife (her daughter) elected to government. Me working in it and she still believes the bull shit on T.V.

Half the time I'm scratching my head, my mother in law has been AT events that get misreported. She believes the misreporting over actually being there.... fuck me boomers! Come on.

Trump bashing was important to watch, every politically minded person would be watching that and taking notes of the community response. You will see alot more of that shit into the future. Also, now I know it's coming need to plan against it.

If only people focused on actually doing the right thing..... the world would be a better place.

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Who knows, maybe if they went back to actually reporting and providing information they might get their viewers back

Not likely. As I stated above, it hasnt been this way in a long time, before Trump.

As for the Boomers, it is amazing how blind they can be. As the article mentioned, the cable news audience is dwindling. It will be interesting to see if their numbers go down for an extended period of time.

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Could be, could be...
Trump might just be the hero and the anti-hero from Greek drama and Roman satire, and the Superman of our times. He might just save cable television if re-elected!
Is there a way to bet with some crypto on that?
They're having this Betting polls on with events like Oscar, Sports and more, where people can bet. I guess they should include the fall of network television and its revival.

I hope you don't mind some irony, @taskmaster4450le

There is a betting app on Hive where you can put up some PAL. I forget the name of the app but it is there.

Not sure how much action you would get.

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Great. I'll search for it...just because I am a curious cat. TY for that, @taskmaster4450le !

Now that you mention it, my wife and I don't watch CNN nearly as much as we did when the election was going on. It was pretty much a given that we would have it on at some point during the day. Now we catch a little bit of the local news each night and then we watch stuff that we have on DVR.

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Now that you mention it, my wife and I don't watch CNN nearly as much as we did when the election was going on.

LOL decided to move away from fiction.

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Psssh, that's just crazy talk! :)

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Bang, I did it again... I just rehived your post!
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Useful post

What scares me, and what should scare anyone, about this situation is the prospect of big media companies trying to invent, inflate or manipulate the public into certain situations, certain individuals and entities being as important as Trump for the next three or four years. Especially, when it would allow public to have their attention distracted from real problems.

Something, let's say, more scary than COVID-19. And with the prospect of escalating into something that would make every crisis and every conflict in past hundred years or so (or more) pale in comparison.

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@taskmaster4450le it is a shame that alot of media companies have allowed politics to ruin their integrity,now you find it hard to trust news that comes from such platforms and people now find it difficult to trust such media channels......

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An interesting observation. I think that in the future we may witness the fact that the cost of advertising in various video platforms and blogs will be higher than on television due to the greater involvement of the population.

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