comScore Newsmax Loses More Than Half Its Audience Since Post-Election Ratings Surge

Newsmax Loses More Than Half Its Audience Since Post-Election Ratings Surge

Following its post-election ratings surge, right-wing network Newsmax has seen its ratings drop, losing more than half of its total day audience, according to data from Nielsen.

In December, Newsmax made headlines when it topped a Fox News show in the key demographic of viewers age 25-54: on Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., Greg Kelly Reports had 229,000 viewers in the demo, beating Fox’s The Story With Martha MacCallum, which had 203,000 viewers in the demo. Martha MacCallum still topped Greg Kelly in total viewership that day, with 1.59 million total viewers to Kelly’s 949,000, but the demo upset was a shock for a network that long touted its position as the top-rated one in cable news.

In the weeks following the election, Newsmax saw ratings highs as viewers, disappointed by Donald Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden, turned to Newsmax for comfort, as the network continued to perpetuate baseless claims of voter fraud. (Newsmax did eventually accept Trump’s defeat – well, mostly – but in February, the network allowed Trump to push the false election claims during a phone interview.)

Newsmax has also had its share of controversies since the election. In December, facing the threat of a lawsuit, the network ran a fact-check of its own reporting on baseless voter fraud allegation. In February, anchor Bob Sellers literally walked out of an interview with MyPillow founder and vocal Trump supporter Mike Lindell, who has continued to push baseless claims of voter fraud (and has since been sued for it). Viewers called for a boycott, and the next day, Sellers returned with an apology to Lindell.

But in the last week of February, Newsmax had lost 51% of its audience in total day since its viewership peaked the week of November 16, 2020, dropping from an average 398,000 viewers in total day to 197,000, and 63% of its viewers in demo, dropping from 93,000 to 34,000. In prime time, the total viewership drop-off was 55%, from 495,000 to 223,000, and 63% in the demo, from 134,000 to 49,000. During the 7 p.m. hour, the audience for Greg Kelly Reports dropped 48%, from 970,000 to 502,000, and 67% in the demo, from 242,000 to 80,000, according to Nielsen data. Newsmax also dropped in cable rankings from 27th among total viewers in prime time the week of Nov. 16, to 52nd the week of Feb. 22. In total day, Newsmax dropped from 19th to 33rd in the weekly cable rankings.

As cable television viewership was down over all in the last week of February compared to the week of Nov. 16, the three major cable news networks also saw ratings declines over that time period, although none quite as steep as Newsmax.

Since the week of Nov. 16, CNN’s total day viewership has dropped 36%, and 43% in the demo, as of the week of Feb. 22; in prime time, total viewership is down 38%, and 45% in the demo. At MSNBC, total day viewership is down 17%, and 28% in the demo, while prime time viewership is down 12% overall, and 22% in the demo. Fox News has seen its total day audience drop 7% since November, and 13% in the demo, while its primetime viewership has dropped 19%, and 25% in the demo.

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