In the just-ended May ratings period, Fox once again manhandled the competition, posting big gains in both primetime and full-day while MSNBC stumbled and CNN plunged headlong.
All three networks, to be sure, are down from their levels at the beginning of the year, when the excitement of the Inauguration drove boffo viewership. But as the pie has shrunk, only Fox has managed to grab a bigger slice.
It’s tempting to ascribe Fox’s surge to the change in administration. There’s something to this. Political media outlets, whether print, web or broadcast, tend to flourish in opposition. Certainly that was the case with MSNBC, which rode the crests of Obamamania to new highs last fall, only to settle to earth once campaigning gave way to governing.