Without former President Donald Trump to kick around anymore, the ‘mainstream media’ is having a much tougher time attracting — and retaining — eyeballs.
And maybe that’s why media hosts and pundits are still trying to find new and inventive ways to blame him for Joe Biden’s and Democrats’ policies.
Breitbart News reports:
The establishment media’s online readership has reportedly collapsed without the aid of Donald Trump’s America First presidency.
The Hill, Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Vox Media have lost a large percentage of monthly unique visitors since Trump led the nation, according to Comscore data cited by the Journal.
Shortly after taking office, Trump famously predicted in 2017 that media ratings would take major hits without him in office and, in March, the Washington Post had to admit he was right.
“Newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there, because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes,” he said.
“Barely two months into the post-Trump era, news outlets are indeed losing much of the audience and readership they gained during his chaotic presidency. In other words, journalism’s Trump bump may be giving way to a slump,” the Post’s Paul Farhi wrote.
“After a record-setting January, traffic to the nation’s most popular mainstream news sites, including The Washington Post, plummeted in February, according to the audience tracking firm ComScore. The top sites were also generally doing worse than in February of last year, when the pandemic became a major international news story,” Farhi added.
And things have only gotten worse from there, as the WSJ reported, including, in particular, the Post:
Top Washington Post officials gathered last week and discussed how to respond to a major problem the news outlet is facing: a sharp decline in online readership.
Executive Editor Sally Buzbee said she was struck by a presentation showing that in one stretch of 2019, nearly all of the 50 most popular articles on the Post’s home page were related to politics, whereas in the same period of 2021, just three of the top 10 were related to politics, people familiar with the meeting said.
Ms. Buzbee weighed in with her conclusion: When political news falls out of favor with Post readers, the news organization needs to be in position to excel with other types of stories.
But of course, readership hasn’t just declined at the major D.C. news outlet. Others are tanking as well, including Politico, which has lost nearly 50 percent of its online traffic.
“The Post‘s page views are reportedly fewer by 28 percent, followed by the Times at 15 percent, then the Journal and Vox Media at nine percent,” Breitbart noted.
One of the factors driving down views online, according to the conservative outlet, is Trump’s ban from the major social media outlets. After booting him following the Jan. 6 riots that he has been blamed for, he is no longer able to generate instant headlines.
That is set to change, of course, with the introduction early next year of his new platform, Truth Social. Plus, with the Trump Media and Technology Group’s partnership with Rumble, we’re liable to get real-time video of the former president as well.
We’ll see. But in the meantime, the ‘mainstream’ outlets’ inability to peddle non-stop Trump hate to online readers has hurt them — a lot.
Breitbart noted that “only three of the Post’s ten most-read articles on the home page in 2021 were political coverage. Whereas in 2019, just about all the 50 most-read articles on the home page were political ‘news.’”
“We’ve been deliberate in our strategy work and are seeing the results of our investments across the company, particularly with the growth of the newsroom, the broadening of our coverage and the sophistication of our storytelling tools,” a Post spokesperson told WSJ.
“This was a third-party study done to help identify potential motivations to subscribe, and we are not focused on just one of them,” the spokesperson added. “Rather, we are using the data as a whole to think about where we invest and grow in 2022.”