Full disclosure: I’m not the biggest Jesse Watters fan.
According to a news release from Fox News on Dec. 15, “Jesse Watters Primetime” was 2022’s fastest-growing cable news program and, incredibly, finished the year as the highest-rated 7 p.m. hour in cable news history.
That 7 p.m. time slot is notable given that it’s 7 p.m. ET and many people are still well within their 9-to-5 work day on the West Coast.
It’s not just Watters’ eponymous show that has been doing well for Fox News.
“The Five,” of which Watters is a regular co-host, made some history of its own.
“For the first time in television history, a non-primetime cable program closed out the year as cable’s most-watched in total viewers,” the Fox News release said.
Given that “The Five” airs at 5 p.m. ET, it faces an even steeper hill to climb than “Jesse Watters Primetime” when it comes to getting West Coast viewers.
Overall, the cable news ratings war of 2022 was hardly a war at all.
If anything, it was a bloody drubbing — the kind that would elicit the use of the famous “Simpsons” meme where children are crying, “Stop! He’s already dead!“
For the year, Fox News had 13 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers, the news release said.
This is the network’s seventh year in a row of ratings dominance, so it’s hardly a flash in the pan.
“In terms of total day viewership, Fox News was the only one of the top three networks to grow year over year in both the key 25-54 age demographic and in terms of total viewers,” Mediaite reported. “Fox scored a total day average of 1.49 million total viewers during 2022 – a 12% increase from the previous year. In the demo, Fox was up 3% with a total day average of 231,000 viewers.”
Compare that to Fox News’ two biggest direct competitors, CNN and MSNBC, and it really hammers home dominant Fox News is in the cable news arena.
“FNC trounced CNN and MSNBC combined in primetime and total day across both categories, finishing the year as the only cable news network to notch more than 2 million in primetime viewers and 1 million in total day viewers,” the news release said.
“FNC programs made up 92 of the top 100 cable news shows during 2022. Notably, CNN and MSNBC each saw their lowest-rated years of all time in total day with the younger A25-54 demo,” it said.
“According to data from Nielsen/MRI Fusion, FNC also attracted the most politically diverse audience in cable news with more Democrats, Independents and Republicans tuning into FNC than any other network in total viewers and the younger A25-54 demo,” the release said.
Those are some dominant numbers, no matter how you try to spin them, but they also illuminate some fascinating trends.
Fox News, widely regarded (and justifiably so) as a conservative news network, was able to draw in Democrats and independents. It’s a friendly reminder that hyperpartisan screeching (as often seen on CNN and MSNBC) is a massive turnoff to viewers of all stripes.
The vast majority of Americans fall between the far right and far left, and Fox News appears to be the only cable news entity remotely cognizant of that fact.
“From America’s choice on election night to the home of late night’s smash hit show, 2022 was a testament to our unmatched skill in delivering the most innovative news and opinion programming to our audience which continues to rank as the most politically diverse in cable news,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement.
“I am beyond proud of our entire team’s incredible achievements this year,” she said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.