Wednesday Edition



Fox News’ audience is older and declining, just like the rest of cable news’ viewership. (Los Angeles Times)

Fox News’ average audience dropped to 1.2 million viewers in 2023, its lowest since 2015, per Nielsen data. 

  • CNN’s average viewership (481,000) fell to its lowest since 2014 and an all-time low in the 25-54 age demographic.

  • MSNBC bucked the trend by increasing its viewership by 7% over the previous year to 792,000.

  • All three major networks reach around 70 million homes, down from over 90 million in 2016, per S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Cable news viewers are much older than the median American, who is 39. CNN’s median viewer age increased to 67, up from 60 in 2017. Fox News and MSNBC have median ages of 68 and 71, respectively.

The rise of streaming is clearly playing a role in cable news audience declines, with some surveys showing consumer awareness of free-ad supported streaming services now reaching 60%. The Daily Wire, a conservative media company co-founded by Ben Shapiro, announced last year its streaming service has surpassed 1 million subscribers. Networks are adapting, with CNN adding a streaming version and Fox News preparing Fox Nation for a direct-to-consumer service.


While admitting no wrongdoing, global consulting firm McKinsey & Company agreed to pay $78 million to settle claims that it contributed to the opioid crisis by advising on misleading marketing for painkillers. (Reuters)

The lawsuit, filed by U.S. health insurers and benefit plans, is the last in a series of McKinsey settlements. The firm previously paid $641.5 million to state attorneys general and $230 million to local governments for similar claims. Thousands of lawsuits related to the opioid crisis have led to over $50 billion in settlements.

The Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency​​ in 2017.

  • Between 1999 and 2021, CDC data shows that about 645,000 people in the country died due to overdoses involving opioids (both prescription and illicit).

  • In 2021, there were nearly 17,000 deaths from prescription opioid overdoses, which accounted for nearly 21% of all opioid overdose deaths.

  • Approximately 71,000 overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids (excluding methadone).


Last year, streaming overtook cable as America’s most-watched viewing platform, but new data shows streaming services are having trouble retaining their customers. (WSJ)

Source: Antenna

6.3% of streaming customers left premium services in November, up from 5.1% a year earlier, according to subscription-analytics provider Antenna.

25% of U.S. subscribers have canceled at least three subscriptions in the past two years (up from 9% in January 2021).

1 in 4 people who cancel a streaming service resubscribes within four months; half do so within two years.

With most streaming services raising their prices in recent years, cost seems to be a big factor for consumers. Streamers like Verizon are bundling ad-supported services for about $10 a month to retain customers. In November, nearly 60% of new Disney+ U.S. customers opted for the ad-supported tier, while over one-third of new U.S. Netflix customers chose its ad tier.

New York City charter school students outperformed regular public school students in state exams for grades 3-8, the continuation of a longstanding trend. (NY Post)

New data from the NYC Charter School Center:

  • Overall, charter students were 7 points higher in English and 13 points higher in math proficiency than city-run school students.

  • Black charter students scored 19 points higher in English and 27 points higher in math compared to their district-school counterparts.

  • Charter schools in New York City now serve more than one-seventh of public-school students, with 90% of their enrollees being black or Hispanic and 80% coming from low-income families.

Nationwide, public charter schools serve 3.7 million students across 8,000 schools and campuses. Charter school enrollment was 7.4% of all public school students in 2021-22, up from 6.8% in 2019-20. Since 2005-06, the number of charter schools and enrollment has more than doubled and tripled, respectively.

An exhaustive Center for Research on Education Outcomes study of 6,200 charter schools released in July found they outperform traditional schools. From 2014 to 2019, charter school students outpaced their traditional public school counterparts, gaining an average of 16 more learning days in reading and six in math. The study, encompassing 29 states, found 83% of charter students performed as well or better in reading, and 75% did the same in math.


In a new essay, the Wall Street Journal editorial board takes on former President Trump’s calls for a 10% universal tariff aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing. (WSJ)

A 2019 study on Trump’s tariffs found that manufacturing companies with higher tariffs had relative reductions in employment as import protections were outweighed by higher costs and retaliatory tariffs.

  • Steel jobs increased by 1% since March 2018, while jobs in steel-product manufacturing fell by 2.8%.

  • Since Trump’s 2018 tariffs, U.S. manufacturing jobs have increased by 3.4% (a continuation of a trend that began in 2009), but are still well below 1990s levels.

  • Each job created or saved by Trump’s steel tariffs cost $900,000, according to a Petersen Institute for International Economics study.

The WSJ editorial board: “The reality is that U.S. manufacturing output is not far from record highs. Yet because of improvements in productivity and automation since [Trump chief tariff strategist Robert Lighthizer’s] good old days of the 20th century, fewer people run the factory. Doing more with less sounds to most Americans like an economic gain, which isn’t to say that everyone always wins in the short run. But a dynamic economy will always beat a stagnating one and everyone will benefit.”


The tariff debate spotlights a rift on the right: A growing crowd of right-wing populists think Republicans’ commitment to maximizing economic output has resulted in blue-collar Americans, the backbone of the country, getting left behind.

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