The Biggest Loser in November? TV News.

It’s the end of broadcast television news as we know it.  From Deadline Hollywood:

Only 69% of adults turned to the tube first for election news last month, the lowest percentage in at least 20 years, according to the weekly surveys taken for the Pew Research Center’s News Interest Index. The latest figure is  down from 72% four years ago, 78% in 2004, and 86% in 2000. Broadcasters are seeing the biggest losses. Just 32% of adults cited local TV news as their primary source for election news, down from 40% four years ago. The national nightly newscasts were down to 26% from 32%. 

It’s the usual suspects, of course:

Pew researchers say that the change is largely due to the fact that young adults consume news differently than do older people. For example, 45% of people over 65 primarily watch local TV newscasts to keep up with politics — but only 15% of those between 18 and 29 do so. Conversely, 29% of the young group looks to the Internet first vs 11% of those above retirement age.

Young people, internet, blah blah blah.  And yet, from the Hollywood Reporter, we learn this:

Today Nielsen credits FNC with a 144 percent advantage over MNSBC and a 147 percent advantage over CNN in total daily viewership — with slightly softer margins in primetime. In news’ coveted 25-54 demo, FNC bests CNN by 92 percent and MSNBC by 101 percent.

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes sounded off on the event in a statement. “We are extremely proud of the phenomenal achievement created by the hard work and talent of the FOX News Channel employees and recognize how difficult it is for a cable network to sustain this level of dominance for a decade,” he said. “America has clearly embraced fair and balanced news.”

Known for its more conservative stable of commentators, Fox News has enjoyed particular success during the Republican primary stages of the 2012 election cycle. The net has topped cable competitors in caucus and primary coverage and has hosted two of the five most-watched debates, a statistic it only shares with ABC.

It’s true that the internet has taken a bite out of the television news business, and the newspaper business, too.  But both of those industries took a big bite out of themselves, by becoming increasingly removed from their customer, condescending to their viewers, and thinking of themselves as agents of “progressive change” rather than what they’re supposed to be, which is reporters of the facts.

I haven’t watched the network news in decades.  And — full disclosure — I don’t watch cable news, either, unless I’m on it and I want to see how fat I look on television.  I get my news from the internet, from news sites, and from three newspaper apps on the iPad.

In other words: why are they paying Brian Williams all of that money?