Median Age of Fox News Viewers is 65 – Average Dittohead Is a 67 Year Old Man

About two-thirds of the way into media writer Michael Woolf’s Vanity Fair column, “The Man Who Ate the G.O.P.,” on the conundrum of Rush Limbaugh’s dual role as GOP party boss and hate radio megastar, this demographic nugget about the conservative media audience caught my eye:

“Among ad-supported cable nets, the news nets … sport the most gray, with Fox News Channel’s daytime and primetime skeds the absolute oldest, clocking in with a median age above 65.”
- Variety

Arguably no message apparatus like [Limbaugh's show] exists in the nation, except, perhaps, at the White House (or in Oprah — whose position with American women is curiously analogous to Rush’s position with American conservatives). It is concentrated and extraordinary power.

Except that this power ought to be ending. It ought to all be on the wane. It is not just the Obama victory and the magnitude of his approval ratings. It is not just that the gravity of the economic crisis, with historic unemployment rates, means it’s a lot harder to get people excited about Reagan-and-Rush-esque hands-off government.

It is, rather, a crueler demographic point. The dirty little secret of conservative talk radio is that the average age of listeners is 67 and rising, according to [Jon Sinton, founding president of Air America] — the Fox News audience, likewise, is in its mid-60s: “What sort of continuing power do you have as your audience strokes out?”

Only dinosaurs listen to radio these days, and it’s doubtful many people under 50 even know AM radio exists, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the average age of right-wing radio listeners is 67. It’s also truly not shocking that this demographic is also predominantly male. According to a Pew study in February, 72 percent of Limbaugh’s elderly listeners are men and thus are statistically likely to “stroke out” sometime in Pres. Obama’s second term, assuming he wins one.

However, television viewership trounces radio audiences in every demographic, so the fact that the average age of FNC viewers is, well, retired could have huge ramifications on the political playing field over the next decade.

It took some googling but I found a reliable source that confirms that during the 2007-2008 television season, the most recent season for which figures are available, the average age of Fox News viewers was 65:

According to a study released by Magna Global’s Steve Sternberg, the five broadcast nets’ average live median age (in other words, not including delayed DVR viewing) was 50 last season. That’s the oldest ever since Sternberg started analyzing median age more than a decade ago — and the first time the nets’ median age was outside of the vaunted 18-49 demo…

Among ad-supported cable nets, the news nets (along with older-skewing Hallmark Channel, Golf Channel and GSN’s daytime sked) sport the most gray, with Fox News Channel’s daytime and primetime skeds the absolute oldest, clocking in with a median age above 65. (Emphasis added.)

By the way, MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” does the best in cable news primetime among the most desirable younger demographic, but according to numbers from last season, the average “Countdown” viewer is 59 years old, and 55 percent of its audience is male.

Update: Hollywood Reporter, August 10, 2010:

In a survey released by analyst Steve Sternberg, Fox News has the oldest audience among fully distributed cable networks. The network’s average viewer last season was 65 years old, according to Nielsen. Heck, it’s viewers are even older than viewers of Hallmark Channel, Military Channel and Golf Channel.

(Note Hollywood Reporter is owned by Nielsen.)

46 Responses »

  1. [...] Median Age of Fox News Viewers is 65 – Average Dittohead Is a 67 Year Old Man [...]

  2. [...] via Pensito Review » Median Age of Fox News Viewers is 65 – Average Dittohead Is a 67 Year Old Man. [...]

  3. [...] Average age of Fox News viewers Pensito Review Median Age of Fox News Viewers is 65 – Average Dittohead Is a 67 Year Old Man [...]

  4. skyreader7 May 6, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

    The average IQ of a Fox viewer is also 65.

  5. [...] on the report that the average demographic for watchers of Faux News is a 65 year old white male, come even more dire [...]

  6. [...] [...]

  7. Gale Abernathy November 22, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

    I’ll be 65 December 14 , and I wouldn’t watch Fox with a gun to my head!

  8. notaliberalbigot November 30, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

    So a lot think that fox news will go down under within 10 years as everyone of their average 65 year old viewers dies? I am no genius but I am guessing, bear with me on this outlandish theory, new people will replace them.

  9. Sam Simple December 10, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

    ….and the average Fox viewer is dumber than a sack of assholes.”

    There! I finished the post for you.

  10. [...] of spring chickens.  But should your eyes deceive you, then you should also note a) that the average age of Limbaugh and Fox News’ audience is past retirement age and b) that enough of them were so far out of the loop, slang-wise, that they initially called [...]

  11. [...] all:  Saturday’s article paints a picture of a movement that is fairly . . . senior.  The ratings of Fox News paints the same picture.  The ratings of Democrats in the 18-34 demographic aren’t what they [...]

  12. Michelle July 13, 2010 @ 7:28 am

    I’m a 22 year old female and both me and my boyfriend (23) listen to AM radio every day which includes GLEN BECK and RUSH LIMBAUGH! Thanks!

  13. Elliot August 10, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

    Hi Michelle, do you also live in the SEVENTEEN-hundreds? I only ask because BACK THEN they DIDN’T HAVE strict rules about CAPITALIZATION. They were also really CONSERVATIVE back then and also REALLY wrong. Thanks.

  14. Mark August 11, 2010 @ 4:27 am

    You mean: “my boyfriend and I.” Saying “both me and my boyfriend” makes you sound even dumber than does your original point. Good luck to you both, sweetie.

  15. Puck30 August 16, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    Why didn’t you put up the average age of people that watch CNN HLN & msNBC?

  16. Puck30 August 16, 2010 @ 10:28 am

    CNN wasn’t far behind, though — its average audience was 63. MSNBC was a perky 59. CNBC is the young turk at 52.

  17. [...] Median Age of Fox News Viewers is 65 – Average Dittohead Is a 67 Year Old Man By Jon Ponder [...]

  18. [...] to the average viewer of Fox News or the average talk radio listener, whose median ages are 65 and 67 [...]

  19. [...] [...]

  20. STEPHANIE December 20, 2010 @ 11:00 am

    Michelle – Let us explain this to you. You don’t seem to understand that a whole big buncha 22 year olds can listen to Fox News and the median age can still be 67. Math 101.

  21. Karen March 2, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

    I just do not understand how people over 65 are not listening to younger people because these are those that will be impacted.

  22. [...] Fox News is a part of the Fox Entertainment group which is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NewsCorp). Fox News was founded by Rupert Murdoch as a means to compete with the other major networks of the time. It was launched on October 7, 1996 and brought a conservative bent to news reporting. The television network is headed by Roger Ailes who took up the post after he left America’s Talking. The website has grown in importance over time as the news industry has been moving more and more online compared to the original prominence of the television broadcast portion. Fox News readers are overwhelmingly Male, coming in at over 60% of its readership. The average Fox news reader is also in their mid 60s and is considerably older than the Huffington Posts’s. Fox News readers have a similar level of educational attainment as Huffington Post readers (Quantcast, Pensitoreview) [...]

  23. [...] for Fox News, for all that it seems to be an indomitable ratings titan, its demographics are notably gray, as are those of talk radio. The political right is in for a significant philosophical change [...]

  24. [...] demographic: Old white men dominate Fox’s audience to a startling extent (the network’s median viewer is 65, nearly 99% are non-black, and the audience skews heavily male). That appeal is based in large part [...]

  25. [...] news and in the newspaper – they saw it hours ago on the Internet.  Fox News viewers have a median age of 65, for Pete’s sake!  And a certain … [...]

  26. [...] http://www.pensitoreview.com/2009/05/05/average-age-of-fox-news-viewer-is-65/ [...]

  27. [...] In short, the Republicans heard senior citizens loud and clear when they told politicians to “take their government hands off my Medicare!” And what a difference one election makes. While the Republicans aggressively courted the Scooterati, America’s senior citizens were already won over at “Hello.” In fact, the only age bracket that voted for McCain in the 2008 presidential election was the 65+ demographic, (53% for McCain and 45% for Obama). This should come as no surprise in light of the facts that the Median Age of Fox News Viewers is 65, and the Average Dittohead Is a 67 Year Old Man. [...]

  28. [...] [...]

  29. [...] liberal thinkers, rightly, will flock to msnbc to reconfirm their ideology, and conservatives will do the same with Fox News. I see no harm with that. Levels of enlightenment may vary. (Maggie [...]

  30. [...] conservative, male and older.” Hm, that’s the same demographic that watches Fox News and listens to talk radio! Surely a [...]

  31. [...] conservative, male and older.” Hm, that’s the same demographic that watches Fox News and listens to talk radio! Surely a [...]

  32. [...] conservative, male and older.” Hm, that’s the same demographic that watches Fox News and listens to talk radio! Surely a [...]

  33. Scooby Doo October 16, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    Michelle,

    I’m only surprised that you have a boyfriend, he must have a lower IQ than you and that’s saying something. We actually probably both agree that Obama and the democrats are shady crooks. However the Republicans are even bigger crooks and both parties are guilty of enabling and participating in the largest wealth transfer to the top 1% of the population in human history. Do they teach you that on Rush Limbaugh? Vote, for which ever crook you like more and watch whatever you want, it’s all a bunch of LIES. CNN, Fox News or MsNBC, it’s all pandering to moral issues that are irrelevant in the long term and distract the sheeple from recognizing they are being robbed blind and have no economic future if they are in the top 1% of the population.

  34. [...] [...]

  35. [...] Let’s remember what is too rarely discussed in polite company: Climate denial is largely concentrated among conservative white men. And not just conservative white men, but old conservative white men, otherwise known as the GOP base. The average age of a Fox News viewer is 65. A 2008 survey found that Rush Limbaugh’s audience is 72 percent male, 80 percent conservative, and an average age of 67. [...]

  36. [...] “Let’s remember what is too rarely discussed in polite company: Climate denial is largely concentrated among conservative white men. And not just conservative white men, but old conservative white men, otherwise known as the GOP base. The average age of a Fox News viewer is 65. A 2008 survey found that Rush Limbaugh’s audience is 72 percent male, 80 percent conservative, and an average age of 67. [...]

  37. [...] ended, and the simple fact is that if you’re over 49, as most talk radio listeners are (quite older in fact), advertisers are absolutely uninterested in trying to get you to buy anything. That’s just [...]

  38. Golf Gadgets March 15, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    And Rush is purported to have 20 million listeners. Actually, that number came from one of his staff some 15 or so years ago and they still use that number to this day.

  39. knight4444 July 28, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

    Fux news serves one purpose! to get old people scared and angry! fux doesn’t have one full time journalist anywhere near a 100 miles of the joint. Good news, China threw Rupert and newscorp out years ago and now it looks like the UK is ready to do the same. No offensive to fux news viewers but half of those old geezers are asleep by 9pm and forgot to turn the television off.

  40. UrbanProgressive October 26, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    Your posted articles are old, too old to be useful or reliable. How about updating the data and analysis.

  41. [...] Party.  It was only Ron Paul that motivated the youth in the Republican primaries.  The average age of Fox News viewers was 65 and the average age of rush Limbaugh listener is 67.  These [...]

  42. [...] for the Ron Paul people of course, is getting older and older (old like the average Rush Limbaugh listener is 67). Besides, they all sit at home and watch Fox News. By and large they do not actually get up [...]

  43. [...] conservative, male and older.” Hm, that’s the same demographic that watches Fox News and listens to talk radio! Surely a [...]

  44. [...] [...]

  45. [...] a year to anchor cellar-dweller stations in major markets and to host a program that attracts elderly men but fewer national advertisers isn’t a blueprint for future [...]

  46. [...] is basic demographics.  The median age for Fox News viewers is 65.  Fox News viewers skew heavily old, white and male.  Rachel Maddow [...]

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