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Howard Kurtz Media Notes

Convention Viewers Flock to Fox

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 31, 2004; 5:39 PM

It looks like Republicans are coming home to Fox News Channel at this convention.

CNN, which draws a more mixed audience, scored a rare victory over Fox at the Democratic convention in Boston. But that was then.

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In last night's ratings, CNN was down 39 percent from the first night of the Democratic gathering, to 1.2 million viewers. MSNBC was down 28 percent, to 819,000.

And Fox? Rupert Murdoch's network was up 127 percent last night, to 3.7 million viewers.

In a recent Pew Research Center survey, more than half of Fox News Channel's regular viewers, 52 percent, describe themselves as conservative, compared with 40 percent four years ago. Only 13 percent say they are liberal, down from 20 percent. The rest call themselves moderate.

For CNN, 36 percent of regular viewers say they are conservative and 20 percent liberal. (In party terms, though, CNN's audience is 44 percent Democratic, up from 35 percent four years ago.) For MSNBC, it's 33 percent conservative and 22 percent liberal.

As if further evidence were needed that some liberals can't stand Fox, protesters today gathered at its Sixth Avenue headquarters, carrying signs such as "Faux News" and (with apologies to Bill O'Reilly) "Shut Up!"

The three major broadcast networks, which each plan three hours of live convention coverage, skipped Monday's proceedings.

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