President Trump has encouraged viewers to defect from Fox News to Newsmax, but so far, the conservative channel’s audience remains small
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Newsmax, a conservative commentary channel helmed by an ally of President Donald Trump’s, saw a ratings boost of 183% around the election as the president encouraged viewers to defect from Fox News. Even with the surge, it’s still doing poorly in the ratings overall.
According to Nielsen Media Research ratings data, Newsmax got 72,000 average total viewers during the week preceding the election. The week of the election, Newsmax got 204,000 average total viewers. That amounts to a 183% increase, but the other cable news networks also all saw increases. CNN, for instance, saw an increase of 186% from 1.37 million total average viewers up to 3.92 during election week. In the week before the election, Fox News commanded 2.73 million total average viewers, moving up to 3.48 million the week of.
This bump in viewership amounts to a few thousand new viewers, but Newsmax’s year-to-date average is still very low compared to other cable channels.
Also Read: Newsmax Refuses to Call Joe Biden the Winner
Newsmax only became eligible for Nielsen ratings at the end of June. From June 29 until Nov. 9, the channel averaged 48,000 total viewers per day. Of those, just 7,000 were in the key demo. On Thursday, following reports he would like to launch his own Fox News competitor when he leaves the White House, Trump retweeted numerous Twitter users who claimed to be switching from Fox News Newsmax or OANN. Fox News’ ratings, though, are at all-time highs by a number of measures. For instance, Fox News has held the highest-rated primetime hours in all of television since Memorial Day. Fox News’ primetime hours have averaged 3.930 million total viewers since May 25. Broadcast channel NBC is close behind with 3.929 million, on average.
Newsmax’s primetime is no Fox News, even if a few people on Twitter say they’re making a switch: Since June 29, it’s averaged 64,000 total viewers, of whom 11,000 were in the demo.
The relative surge in newcomers to Newsmax coincides with the outlet’s decision not to call President-elect Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election, even as every other outlet — including OANN, which has viewership sow low it isn’t yet eligible for Nielsen ratings — has acknowledged Trump’s defeat.
Trump and his allies have baselessly claimed widespread voter fraud, though no evidence of any such fraud has been found in any state. Beyond backing Trump in the refusal to acknowledge the election results, Newsmax offers viewers a smattering of other conspiracy theories and theorists. Host Greg Kelly recently wondered out loud whether Democratic “sabotage” was to blame for a number of Republican lawmakers, including Trump, contracting COVID-19. Host Grant Stinchfield recently mischaracterized the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory by downplaying one of its central tenets, which is the false belief that high-profile Democrats have ties to a Satanic pedophile ring.
Other hosts on the network include notorious plagiarist Benny Johnson and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who famously lied to reporters during his time in the role.
Media reporter • firstname.lastname@example.org • Twitter: @ellefs0n