The General Electric Co.’s public dismissal of Bill O’Reilly’s reporting and the news that multiple advertisers have pulled commercials from Glenn Beck’s show did not hurt ratings for the Fox News network last week. In fact, it may have helped.
The “Fair and Balanced” network was the second highest rated cable network in primetime last week, trailing only USA in viewers.
FNC’s competitors in cable news are much further down on the ratings scale. MSNBC ranked 24th in primetime and CNN ended up in the 26th spot. CNN did see an improvement in relative ratings during the day compared to primetime. For day, CNN was the 23rd ranked cable network while FNC fell to number five during that time period.
FNC’s “The Glenn Beck Program” had its highest rated week ever in Total Viewers (2,409,000).
Many speculate that FNC’s huge week is connected to the ongoing debate about healthcare and the corresponding town hall meetings that have been held across the country. Bill O’Reilly, never one to shy away from self-promotion, agrees that the debate has helped his network. On a recent episode of his show, he laid out the main reason that he feels FNC has been so successful recently: “We don’t denigrate people who disagree with President Obama. That’s the difference between Fox News and all the others… ‘The Factor’ also gives voice to both sides, something you will never see on NBC News.”