The Graying of Big Media's Audience
By Ed Driscoll · April 24, 2005 09:51 PM · Oh, That Liberal Media!
The combined viewership of the network evening newscasts is 28.8 million, down from 52.1 million in 1980. The median age of viewers is 60. Hence the sponsorship of news programming by Metamucil and Fixodent. Perhaps we are entering what David T.Z. Mindich, formerly of CNN, calls "a post-journalism age."Brian Anderson, the author of South Park Conservatives agrees. He told me the week before last:
Let's consider the media universe. With news and opinion, a lot depends on where people are gravitating for their information, and here the traditional or mainstream media, overwhelmingly liberal in orientation, are losing sway--with astounding rapidity. Writing in the New Yorker recently, the media critic Ken Auletta pointed out something I hadn't noticed: the commercials on the Big Three network newscasts are frequently hawking drugs like Viagra and Mylanta, and the broadcasts themselves often focus on health issues. There's a reason for that emphasis on infirmity: the average age of a network news watcher is now 60; only about 8 percent of viewership is between 18 and 34. Ten years ago, 60 percent of adult Americans regularly tuned in to one of the network newscasts. Now it's only about one in three. And people have lost trust in the mainstream outlets. A Pew Research poll last year found that just 21 percent of its respondents viewed the New York Times as a trustworthy news source--a figure below that of Fox News, it's worth noting.As Will writes:
The future of the big media that the young have abandoned is not certain. But do you remember when an automobile manufacturer, desperately seeking young customers, plaintively promised that its cars were "not your father's Oldsmobile"? Do you remember Oldsmobiles?Vaguely. Isn't that what Teddy Kennedy used to drive?
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Ed Driscoll says the L.A. Times spiked a column suggesting that the paper join up with older artists to give away free music. And he's got the goods.--Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post, July 26, 2007
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