Poll: Cable news viewership steady in New York

Analysis: Lee Cappola talks cable news in 2019

Mike Baggerman
October 15, 2019 - 9:00 pm

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Despite criticisms of "fake news" and partisanship, a notable amount of New Yorkers watch cable news according to the latest Siena Poll.

The poll claims that 56 percent of New Yorkers watch cable news at least a half hour a few days per week. 40 percent of New Yorkers watch at least a half hour each day. 21 percent watch it "once in a while". One in five people polled never watch.

It also claims that CNN is trusted more than Fox News and MSNBC.

"I think the reason people watch it is because they approve of what the various cable channels are providing them," Retired Dean of Journalism at St. Bonaventure University Lee Coppola said. "I think that's indicative of what's going on in the country today. It's a newsworthy country with the administration in Washington. I think the cable news channels are thriving on that news."

Fox News has been criticized for years as an outlet favorable to conservatives while MSNBC faced similar criticisms over its favorability to liberal viewers. CNN has also faced substantial criticism from President Trump and republicans for their coverage favorable to the left. Coppola said people are fully aware of the partisanship and is the reason why they watch those channels.

"They like what those channels broadcast," he said. "Though I feel Fox News is starting to turn a little to the center now as you can see from the comments and criticisms coming from Washington regarding Fox News."

According to the Siena College poll, voters 55 and older are more than twice as likely to watch cable news daily than those under 35.

"I think cable news will survive because I think when something happens and there's a lot of news going on, people turn to cable news," Coppola said. "Broadcast channels, unless it's a tremendous news story, don't break into broadcasting to provide that kind of news content."

The poll said that 51 percent of republicans believe that Fox News is the most unbiased cable news channel. Among democrats, CNN is the top outlet for unbiased news, followed by MSNBC.
View the poll in its entirety here

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