The Fox News Channel has taken out an ad in Monday's Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and trade publication Multichannel News highlighting recent findings from a study by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, which found that Fox News' audience is more balanced along party lines than either CNN's or MSNBC's.
The ad, exclusively obtained by the Huffington Post, targets CNN specifically, inserting the word "partisan" into CNN's "CNN = Politics" logo to read, "CNN = Partisan Politics" and declaring Fox News "The Only Fair & Balanced News Network." This may prove to be a particularly damaging charge, as CNN has sought to define itself as the independent alternative to partisan programming on its competitors (which, in addition to the fact that MSNBC trails both Fox and CNN in the ratings by wide margins, is presumably, why the ad targets CNN with no mention of MSNBC).
The study found that 51% of CNN's regular viewers are Democrats, compared to 18% Republicans. Fox News' audience leans Republican but is more balanced overall, with 39% of regular viewers declaring themselves Republicans compared to 33% declaring themselves Democrats. MSNBC's regular audience is 45% Democrat and 18% Republican.
See the ad below:
Excerpt from Pew study below (download the entire report here):
The general public has become more Democratic since 2006, and this is reflected in the audiences for leading TV news outlets. The audiences for CNN and MSNBC, which were heavily Democratic two years ago, have become even more so: fully 51% of CNN's regular viewers are Democrats while only 18% are Republicans. MSNBC's audience makeup is similar - 45% of regular viewers of MSNBC are Democrats, 18% are Republicans.
The regular audience for nightly network news also is now about two-to-one Democratic (45% vs. 22% Republican). In 2006, 40% of the regular viewers of nightly network news were Democrats compared with 28% who were Republicans.
The regular audience for the Fox News Channel continues to include more Republicans than Democrats. Currently, 39% of regular Fox News viewers are Republicans while 33% are Democrats; in 2006, the margin was 38% to 31%.