Fox News is the highest-rated channel in the primetime slot for all of TV, not just cable.

Despite of being accused of being a misogynist workplace, business is booming for Fox News, according to The New York Times, which became the highest-rated television channel in the prime-time hours of 8 to 11 p.m. Not just on cable. Not just among news networks. All of television during June and July. Data from Nielsen shows that the average live Fox News viewership in those hours outstripped cable rivals like CNN, MSNBC and ESPN, as well as the broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC. CBS remains neck-and-neck with Fox News in the 8 to 11 p.m. slot, and could still take the summer crown.

Fox News’s big summer has been boosted by a rise in audience for news programming in general, an increase driven by interest in the pandemic, civil rights protests and the presidential election. ABC, CBS, and NBC, meanwhile, have more reruns on the summer schedule; the coronavirus has suspended most TV productions; and viewers are being lured away by streaming services and on-demand Hollywood movies.

Lachlan Murdoch, the executive chairman of Fox News’s parent company, also said its ad revenue was up from a year ago — a reminder that Fox News, for all the flak it takes from critics, politicians and the advertisers that fled Mr. Carlson, remains an unrivaled profit engine for the Murdoch empire.

Complaints that Fox News prime-time hosts downplayed the coronavirus — and, in the case of Laura Ingraham, encouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug shown to be useless, and even dangerous, for Covid-19 patients — made little difference.

Overall, viewers have shown a strong appetite for news on politics, public health and natural disasters.

For more insights click here for the full Michael M. Grynbaum reporting on the NYT.


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