-By Warner Todd Huston
In a recent interview, CBS Evening News host Scott Pelley said that he thinks that Fox News really doesn’t have very many viewers–underestimating the network’s actual ratings by about 90 percent.
Pelley told Deadline Hollywood that Fox might have perhaps as few as “200,000 viewers.”
Deadline asked Pelley what he thought of the cable news outlets that cater to “just one segment of the political spectrum in their reporting.”
“Certainly. It’s no surprise,” Pelley replied. “Fox is associated with the right and MSNBC is associated with the left and they’ve done that because it is a business model. It’s a strategy. They’ve decided to bite off one small part of the viewership and be happy with that 200,000 viewers, 300,000 viewers that they have.”
Pelley went on to note that his network reached many millions. “But when you are talking to 7 million viewers across the country,” Pelley boasted, “man you have got to represent everybody’s views and have got to give them the impression that you are being as honest as you know how to be.”
Pelley’s accounting of Fox News’ audience does not measure up to what other sources say, however.
As Newsbusters notes, the numbers are quite a lot higher than 200,000.
According to TV Newser, Fox averaged 1.5 million viewers per hour last Monday, and 2.15 million in primetime.
The O’Reilly Factor had 3 million viewers, The Five had 2.2 million as did Special Report.
TV Newser has also reported that Pelley’s news broadcast reached a few million less than the seven million he ascribed to himself. The television reporting site found that the Evening News had about 5.7 million in the last ratings books.
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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