No Donald Trump in the White House to drive the news cycle means establishment media outlets are being abandoned, 2021 year-end figures released Monday reveal, as multinational corporate control of America’s news is rejected by the very audiences it seeks to engage.
AP reports cable news networks were the main form of evening entertainment for millions of Americans last year. Now those legacy television outlets, alongside digital and print news organizations are suffering in a post-Trump world. Big time.
In 2021, weekday prime-time viewership dropped 38 percent at CNN, 34 percent at Fox News Channel and 25 percent at MSNBC, according to the Nielsen company.
This loss was despite mass lockdowns and more people being forced to stay at home and seek their news from established sources, all while the passage of time keeps showing Trump was ahead of his critics on a host of contentious issues.
The Establishment Media has suddenly begun questioning the origins of the Coronavirus and if Donald Trump was ultimately correct. https://t.co/lGSKw9PkYK
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 27, 2021
The decline was less steep but still significant at broadcast television evening newscasts: 12 percent at ABC’s “World News Tonight” and the “CBS Evening News;” 14 percent at NBC’s “Nightly News,” Nielsen said.
All those numbers stand in stark contrast to 2020 when the presidential election and coronavirus pandemic combined to drive intense audience engagement to traditional, establishment news outlets.
Pushing Trump off Twitter and Facebook also worked to dilute his news presence to the loss of mainstream publishers who are finding President Joe Biden is just not engaging audiences like his predecessor.
The Trump era saw explosive subscriber growth for some digital news sites like the New York Times and Washington Post, according to the AP report.
Yet readers are walking away; Comscore said the number of unique visitors to the Post’s site was down 44 percent in November compared to November 2020, and down 34 percent at the Times.
AP outlines those networks remain focused on politics even as viewership interest wanes. The media monitoring company NewsWhip looked at 14 million political articles online last year and found they had an average of 924 engagements, or social media interactions.
The 13.5 million articles NewsWhip traced in 2021 had slumped to an average of 321 engagements.