ONTD Political

Fox News Channel set to make ratings milestone with 10 years atop the Nielsen charts

9:16 am - 01/31/2012

Shepard Smith says the station can stay No. 1 as long as it takes care of its product

Amid the day-long coverage of the Florida primary vote Tuesday, there also will be a little cheering in the halls at Fox News Channel.

Not because of the vote, but because in the morning, when Nielsen releases ratings for Sunday, the network will notch its 10th consecutive year as the most-watched cable news network.

“The boss said we’d be able to do this, and it’s happened,” says recently slimmed-down anchor Shepard Smith.

Smith says being on top is great because that means he — and everyone else there — can simply focus on the product.

“The pressure to stay there is greater than anything else,” he says. “If we take care of the product, everything else will take care of itself.”


Fox News launched 15 years ago with a mix of news in daytime and talk at night.

Within five years, the network was topping CNN and has been there ever since.

During 2011, FNC averaged 1.86 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC averaged 775,000 and CNN had 689,000. On a total daily basis, FNC averaged 1.07 million, CNN 479,00 and MSNBC 434,000.

For January in prime time, FNC has averaged 1.98 million, CNN 875,000 and MSNBC 817,000.

FNC is posting 1.11 million on a total-day basis, compared with 454,000 for MSNBC and 449,000 for CNN.

“I think it’s a very impressive milestone,” says Paul Levinson, professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University. “And I think it’s well deserved. I think what’s often overlooked when people talk about Fox News is they just focus on the politically conservative commentary. But they miss how it’s been as an overall news organization.”

When the network launched and news chairman Roger Ailes said the network would earn ratings, Smith says he had no idea how that would happen.

“No category leader had ever been dethroned in cable,” Smith says. “He had a plan and he said if we stick with it, we’d be okay.”

“Fox realized early on if you want to be a big player in the cable news game, you have to have vivid commentators and be about the news 24/7,” Levinson says.

One key, Levinson says, is that the network’s on-air staff tend to be around for awhile, which helps build loyalty among viewers.

One on-air impression in recent months is that Smith has dropped a lot of weight.

“I’ve lost too much,” he says.


After years of eating cheeseburgers, Snickers bars and having a generally horrible diet, Smith was told by his doctor that he had sky-high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He’s since cut out the junk and plays tennis three times a week. “I’m in the best shape of my life,” he says, adding that his last medical report was great.

As for the ratings shape of the network, Smith says that’s equally good.

“I don’t know why it can’t last,” he says. “It’s lasted 10 years.”

source
texnews 31st-Jan-2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
Good job, Fox!
joshlymanftw 31st-Jan-2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
The fuck is goin on with Shepard Smith though? He looks like hell.
ouronlylight 31st-Jan-2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
After years of eating cheeseburgers, Snickers bars and having a generally horrible diet, Smith was told by his doctor that he had sky-high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He’s since cut out the junk and plays tennis three times a week. “I’m in the best shape of my life,” he says, adding that his last medical report was great.
joshlymanftw 31st-Jan-2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah I know. But he doesn't look "got healthy" thin, he looks sick thin.
ceilidh_ann 31st-Jan-2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I thought he was pretty seriously ill for a long time. Then again, having watched clips of him talk about his junk food addiction, I'm not at all surprised by the reasons behind it.
iamglory 31st-Jan-2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU!!!
crossfire 31st-Jan-2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
Shepard Smith says the station can stay No. 1 as long as it takes care of its product

its product

its product
rex_dart 31st-Jan-2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
Leave it to Shep to outright state what Fox News is even when it makes Fox News look bad and even when he doesn't apparently mean to.
kaowolfie 31st-Jan-2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
I try to justify my attraction to Shep via reminding myself that he's occasionally a truth teller.
mentalguru 31st-Jan-2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
Honestly? I think a good portion of the numbers also come from people on the opposite side of the spectrum of reality (as in actually having any reality enter their craniums) wanting to 'know thine enemy' or at least where the hell some people get so many 'creative' interpretations of reality with other interesting/enfuriating tales of fiction.



Granted, not enough probably to not start losing a little faith in humanity. The vast majority will probably be those which agree with such views and utterly believe those stories, which is just sickening.

dobermanndru 31st-Jan-2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
You mean like MSNBC?

Which has never exactly had the healthiest of ratings...
tigerdreams 31st-Jan-2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Honestly? I think a good portion of the numbers also come from people on the opposite side of the spectrum of reality (as in actually having any reality enter their craniums) wanting to 'know thine enemy' or at least where the hell some people get so many 'creative' interpretations of reality with other interesting/enfuriating tales of fiction.

I tried that for a couple of weeks one summer, a few years ago. I had to stop because I decided that yelling at the television that much wasn't good for me, and they couldn't hear me when I told them why they were wrong. It was a problem.
mentalguru 31st-Jan-2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, TBH, from what little I've seen 'live' rather than just clips on youtube when I have been in America, I'd probably spend most of my money on throat lozenges.

And the rest on paracetamol.

redstar826 31st-Jan-2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
I used to watch O'Reilly (this was in the days before Glenn Beck) when I worked out because being pissed off sure made my ass move a lot faster on that treadmill.
lickety_split 31st-Jan-2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
My dad is one of those people.
lovedforaday 31st-Jan-2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
tbh Fox News used to entertain me before 9/11. then after that, the network became Bush/war cheerleaders. they leaned right before, but it became even worse. that's probably why they became number 1, though.
erunamiryene 31st-Jan-2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
And America's really showing the effects of this, just sayin'.
tigerdreams 31st-Jan-2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
Yup. >_< .

Edited at 2012-01-31 07:40 pm (UTC)
atomic_joe2 31st-Jan-2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
Good old Fox eh? I loved last summer when they were trying to report on something, ANYTHING, other than the phone-hacking scandal in Britain that affected Rupert Murdoch's empire. They were behaving like the totalitarian states they hate so much by covering that one up, the televisual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'la la la la la, I can't hear you'!
vanishingbee 31st-Jan-2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
god, what a decade.
ceilidh_ann 31st-Jan-2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
Shep, I love you but your undying dedication to that network is a bit sick inducing. Also, please put on some weight, you look seriously ill. And keep quietly bashing Santorum. It's fun.
purple01_prose 31st-Jan-2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I can haz linkys to Shep bashing Santorum? Pretty plz with internets on top?
ceilidh_ann 31st-Jan-2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
Maybe not quite bashing but he's been pretty forward about criticising Santorum's gay rights policies, even to his face:



"How long do you think it'll be before you catch up with the rest of the country and realise 'Everybody's okay'?" *smirk*
purple01_prose 31st-Jan-2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
NICE.
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