How Fox News Became The Most Watched Cable Network

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It’s official: Fox News was the most watched basic cable network in 2016. With an average of 2.43 million viewers in primetime and 1.4 million in total daily, it came in just behind the “Big Four” networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX) in overall primetime ratings. It’s not as unbelievable as it sounds. Just factor in the wild presidential election, Donald Trump’s knack for incredulous statements and the incredible bias of Fox News’ journalists, pardon, commentators. Let’s not forget the news channel’s own sexual harassment scandal, adding fuel to the already-raging fire. Yes, Fox News sucks—but there are reasons behind it’s unfortunate rise in popularity.

1. Unabashed Conservatism

Every news channel basked in the limelight of this wild election, but Fox’s conservative slant spoke to the hearts of a growing demographic in America. The cable channel supports a right-wing agenda without shame or apology—most of its viewers are registered Republicans who rejoice in having their opinion affirmed on the air. Fox News has a soothing effect for Trump supporters: it validates their extremist beliefs in real time, and research shows that conservatives are more prone to believing baloney. So when Fox blasts dubious news like their take on the recent Quebec Mosque Attack, there’s a good chance loyal conservatives blindly agree without doing some much-needed fact checking.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:

2. Thriving Off Trump

Millions of Americans tuned in to watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off, and the tone and voice of the presidential election is what Fox News thrived on. Known for its somewhat scandalous take on conservative views, Donald Trump was the ultimate brand ambassador of Fox News. The news channel applauded Trump’s latest remarks and the reality-star-turned-incompetent-president was happy to provide ample news fodder in return. In fact, it has now become clear that the drama brought on by our new president will keep Fox News’ blood pumping stronger than ever in 2017. Not convinced? Consider this: The O’Reilly Factor outperformed every other Fox News segment with an average audience of 4.1 million. Oh, and Bill and Donald are friends.

Do we even have to say it? While we’re at it, and, too.

3. Fox News is Also a Hot News Topic

Apart from covering election slander, Fox News was at the center of its own controversy. Gretchen Carlson coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment got the ball rolling, and Fox News was soon inundated with similar claims from a dozen other women. Several lawsuits resulted in settlements—or cover-ups, whatever you want to call ’em. But Fox News did end up cutting long-time chairman Roger Ailes loose. No worries, though… Ailes and Trump are friends too.

Then there was the bitter-sweet news of Megyn Kelly finally making the jump to NBC. The news anchor claims she was also sexually harassed by Roger Ailes but kept it to herself, afraid of committing career suicide. Her show The Kelly File was the second highest rated cable news program after his segment. Now that the one sane anchor has jumped ship, the Fox team will be loonier and more outlandish than ever., that goes without saying. big time, too.

4. Fox Knows How to Unleash the Trolls

As if the country hadn’t been divided enough during this election, social media provided an additional battleground for political feuds. And Fox News sure milked that cow. In fact, Fox’s Facebook page had the most user engagement in 2016 altogether, surpassing digital champs like NowThis and The Huffington Post. There’s no precise science behind this social media stardom, but a loyal fanbase, irritating internet trolls and a constant barrage of inflammatory posts seem to have done the trick. Fox News even managed to draw the largest social media audience to its America’s Election Headquarters on Facebook and Twitter, surpassing both CNN and NBC., and Fox News fans sure know how to stoke the flames whenever possible.

The Takeaway

Unfortunately, it looks like Fox News won’t be ditching unethical journalism in 2017. With the president as their ally, the Trump White House icing out their competition and the loss of their most prominent liberal news anchor, you’d better brace yourselves for a tumultuous news landscape.

If you’ve had enough of flagrant distortions of reality on a daily basis, a .SUCKS domain can give you a platform to share your voice. Join the conversation with,,,,—there’s no shortage of creative domains to voice what’s wrong with the world these days.

Photos: Shutterstock / Rena Schild, Shutterstock / lev radin, Shutterstock / edtorro


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6 thoughts on “ How Fox News Became The Most Watched Cable Network

  1. Fox used to be the only station that kept it real. They have lost Greta, Bill OReilly and even though Sean Hannity is quite clear on who he supports..he too may be going. Can’t stand to listen to fake news CNN, MSNBC ect. Not all host but most are not fair and honest. Only solution is to start an honest, fact checking program. One that proves what they say as fact before they report it. As a former die hard Democrat but, dissapointed with polotics as usual..I decided to be an Independent. Yes after hearing and listening( wky links) ect I voted for Trump. Hoping he would bring us all together. To do right for us. He can’t because he is trying to fight a currupt system. We need to drain the swamp. We can do it thru our votes and looking for fresh honest people. When I look at you I do not judge you. Politions cannot be judged on what the look like either. It is their actions that we need to judge. Latinos, Blacks, Whites,Asians ect need to look for the best and vote. No matter your religion as long as its not one of murder. At the end of the day we protect eachother. Those who run are cowards. We need to face all that is throw at us together.

  2. Fuck trump liers are thief and thiefs are liers trump is both if he was not guilty he would not need a whole team of lawyers

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