It was a strong year for cable news in 2011, even as threats to its very existence begin to appear on the periphery, according to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism 2012 report. The report notes that overall, ratings and revenues were up among all of the cable news channels last year, though it gets a little murky once you start digging into the data.
CNN and MSNBC saw their viewership rise last year, while Fox News and HLN were down a bit. That said, all of the networks saw healthy increases in revenue, thanks to increased ad revenue as well as higher subscriber fees:
Pew also notes the ever-increasing threat of “cord-cutting.” While it is yet to become widespread, the incessant push to increase fees from cable operators results in cable bills that rise every year, often well above the rate of inflation. As online alternatives become more robust, the threat of cord-cutting becomes more problematic for all cable channels, including cable news: