Fox News has the top 12 most-watched shows so far this year.
Which is perhaps not totally surprising since this marks the network’s ninth straight year as the number one channel in cable.
That is not to say it’s all rainbows and unicorns. (Or cupcakes and caliphates.) All of Fox’s top shows posted double digit losses year over year.
Glenn Beck suffered the biggest drop, losing 30% of his audience compared to the first quarter last year. But he wasn’t alone. Top ranking O’Reilly lost 14% of his audience, Sean Hannity, up a spot from 2010, lost 19%, and Bret Baier, who pushed Beck out of the top three, lost 13%.
Greta Van Susteren, who has been bleeding viewers to Anderson Cooper this month, is down 22.86%.
All in all Fox News actually lost 21% of its primetime audience during the quarter.
Compare this to CNN which is up 28% in primetime and MSNBC which is up 9% (Rachel Maddow increased by 16.65% and Anderson Cooper by 18%) and then take into consideration all the breaking news there’s been since Christmas, and one might begin to draw the conclusion that people are beginning to turn elsewhere for news news coverage.
Another explanation, of course, is that this time period last year was dominated by the health care debate and for much of that period Fox operated as an extension of the opposition. Now that the nation’s focus is international it’s harder to figure out an angle where Obama is bad and … nuclear meltdowns and Qadaffi are good.
*All numbers from Neilsen.