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Average Age of Old Media Users / Viewers

Confirmed: Only Old People Watch TV

“Ten years ago, watching television was a fairly mainstream activity. That’s changed. New statistics tell us that not one single person born in the past ten years has ever bothered to watch TV. Especially not Fox News.”

Average age of a Fox News viewer: 65 [CNN: 63; MSNBC: 59]

“Who has the most watched news network in all the land? Fox News!
And who has the oldest audience in all of cable? Fox News!
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.”

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

“The youngest fully distributed cable channel? Oxygen. Followed by Bravo and, weirdly, VH1 Classic, then Travel and TLC — all averaging about 42 years old.”

Average age of a CBS viewer: 55 [ABC: 51; NBC: 49; Fox: 44]

Average age of a CBS viewer ten years ago: 52 [ABC: 43; NBC: 45; Fox was only 35]

“According to the latest Nielsen data, the average audience of the four major broadcasters is older than ever.

“In a study released by analyst Steve Sternberg, ABC’s median viewership aged one year last season — to 51. CBS also grew a year, to 55. NBC gained two years, to 49. And Fox stayed the same, a relatively nubile 44.

Compare this to a decade ago. ABC was 43, CBS was 52, NBC was 45 and Fox was only 35.

Only young-female targeted relative newcomer The CW has as median age under 40 — 33 — a figure its more or less maintained the past few years.

“Ten years ago, there was still a relatively wide age disparity among the then six broadcast networks,” Sternberg noted.

Other points of interest:

— Comedies tend to be the youngest-skewing shows. In the fall of 1999, there were 45 broadcast sitcoms. Last fall there were just 20.

— Conversely, procedural dramas are among the oldest-skewing genres. A decade ago, there were only five. Last fall there were 20.

— The oldest-skewing broadcast shows include: ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (57), CBS’ “The Good Wife” (58) and “NCIS” franchise (57).

— Among the youngest: Fox’s animated comedy block (30-32) and “Glee” (38), NBC’s Thursday night comedy block (35-40).”

And what about print news readership?

Well, in 2005 it was 55 and it has apparently moved up almost a year every year since.

Average Age of Newspaper Readers is 55
October 12, 2005

“A Carnegie Corporation study reports that the average age of newspaper readers is 55. Newspaper readership has basically fallen off a cliff since the advent of the Internet.”

The Average Newspaper Reader Is Now Older Than Ever
Nat Ives | May 27, 2009,

“Print is not aging well. Or, rather, its readers are aging rapidly.”

Read more:

Average newspaper reader age: 56

Well, well, well! It’s a great thing that most libraries invest in so many youth and kid-oriented programming. Maybe old media can learn somethng from libraries.


Posted on: August 16, 2010, 2:20 pm Category: Uncategorized