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.)


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  • October 16, 2011 - 10:39 am | Permalink


    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.

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  • March 15, 2012 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

    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.

  • knight4444
    July 28, 2012 - 5:54 pm | Permalink

    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.

  • UrbanProgressive
    October 26, 2012 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

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

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  • brian
    June 16, 2015 - 5:51 am | Permalink

    I would say more like 70 years old and up. A bunch of old farts living in the past and want to go with war with anyone that does not agree with his or hers agenda.There all afraid of change.. Fox new is nothing more than a TV soap. A bunch of BS….

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