Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Who's shouting now?

Baltimore Sun

Ever since Fox News Channel, founded in 1996, proved that news delivered with attitude, opinion and even belligerence could wipe the clock of just about any competitor, CNN - once the undisputed leader of the cable news pack - and a handful of smaller channels have been struggling to find a formula that brings in the same kind of numbers.

Now, CNN and the others appear to have found an answer. Virtually all the competitors are slashing at the Fox ratings lead by offering their own versions of noisy and opinionated news. CNN has been closing on Fox and the others, including MSNBC and CNBC, have on occasion closed on CNN. They're all doing it by delivering the news with a strong personal flair.

The shakeout among the main cable news networks is all the more notable for the audience losses at Fox News Channel, which has suffered a 21 percent decline in total viewers when compared to the fourth quarter of 2005. Its biggest star, Bill O'Reilly, virtually invincible for much of the Bush administration's tenure, has also lost a significant number of viewers in the past year as the administration's fortunes have waned, its Iraq policy in shambles and its midterm electoral defeats conclusive.

Overall, though, O'Reilly remains the king of cable, ahead of CNN's Larry King and the target of almost relentless invective from MSNBC's Olbermann, who cheerfully describes O'Reilly as "the worst person in the world."

O'Reilly, quick to take offense from any challenge to his bedrock conservative views, is equally dismissive of Olbermann. Watching the two go after each other is a spectator sport....

1 comment:

akaMAT said...

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: ] Miss You.