TV Network Ratings Drop During Biden’s First Full Week in Office

February 3, 2021 Updated: February 3, 2021

Major news networks’ ratings plummeted during the first full week of President Joe Biden’s administration.

“Variety Intelligence Platform’s analysis of the viewership data across two key metrics—the target news demographic for people ages 25-54, and the total audience watching—shows that CNN ended the final week of January with ratings dropping roughly 44 percent for total audience versus the prior week across all three hours of primetime,” according to Variety magazine.

Other than CNN, Fox News and MSNBC saw lower ratings overall as well in their 8 p.m., 9 p.m., and 10 p.m. slots during the week of Jan. 25 to Jan. 29. Biden took office on Jan. 20.

CNN’s 8 p.m. time slot for the week of Jan. 4 to Jan. 8 had an average U.S. audience of 5.19 million, according to Variety. That dropped to just 2.04 million for the week of Jan. 25 to Jan. 29, according to the report.

Fox, meanwhile, went from 4.18 million during the week of Jan. 4 to Jan. 8 to 3.5 million on the week of Jan. 25 to Jan. 29. MSNBC’s ratings dropped from 4.6 million for the week of Jan. 4 to Jan. 8 to 2.33 million the week of Jan. 25 to Jan. 29, the report found.

The week of Jan. 4 to Jan. 8 saw the Georgia Senate runoff elections as well as the Jan. 6 Capitol storming during the Joint Session of Congress.

Epoch Times Photo
Audience members listen as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall event in Moosic, Penn., on Sept. 17, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The report noted that among viewers between the age of 25 and 54, the ratings decline appeared to hit CNN’s 9 p.m. “Cuomo Prime Time” the hardest.

It also noted that Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was the “only program that didn’t see a downturn.”

Without former President Donald Trump—who generated considerable attention and coverage from news networks over the past five years—cable news networks may falter at least in the interim, according to the report.

“That said, it could well be that this decline is temporary, as Trump’s second impeachment trial is set to begin on February 8, which could prompt audiences flock back,” the report said.

Fox News also saw a decline in ratings after the Nov. 3 election, as many conservatives expressed dissatisfaction with the network’s calling of key states for Biden on Election Night. At the same time, Newsmax, a smaller rival that was promoted by the former president on Twitter, said it saw record ratings last month.

After the 2020 election, Trump called on supporters to watch alternatives such as Newsmax and One America News Network (OANN).