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News outlets lose viewers in 2021

After a busy 2020, national news outlets and cable channels saw their viewership drop in 2021. The pandemic, the 2020 election, and of course President Trump helped push news ratings higher in 2020.

Cable news networks were the main form of evening entertainment for millions of Americans last year. In 2021, weekday prime-time viewership dropped 38% at CNN, 34% at Fox News Channel, and 25% at MSNBC, according to the Nielsen company.

The decline was less steep but still significant at broadcast television evening newscasts: 12% at ABC’s “World News Tonight” and the “CBS Evening News;” 14% at NBC’s “Nightly News,” Nielsen said.

Covid fatigue, the former president disappearing from the national stage, a break in the election cycle, and a return to a semi-normal life led to a drop in viewers in 2021.

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