Playboy magazine sat down with Fox News’ Sean Hannity for an interview this month. Though Hannity may not be centerfold material just yet, he did get a little touchy when the subject of his ratings was brought up.
Fox News, like most major news networks, has taken a hit with this year’s ratings compared to last year’s, which were uncharacteristically high because of election coverage. But Sean Hannity’s show in particular has been hit hard with all-time low ratings for the coveted demographic of 25-54-year-olds. In February, the show saw a damaging 35 percent drop in the key demographic compared to the year before.
April was a particularly bad month for the network as well, as viewership dropped 33 percent from the year before, which was much more than the other big news networks.
Nevertheless, Hannity forcefully informed Playboy that his show is doing just fine — at least until all his viewers die out. Here’s the transcript from part of his interview:
PLAYBOY: Let’s move on. Fox News’s ratings are down, and your show in particular has taken a hit this year.
HANNITY: No, actually, our ratings are back up.
PLAYBOY: Your ratings were down 35 percent in February.
HANNITY: Well, from the year before, which was an election year.
PLAYBOY: Rachel Maddow has beaten you in your time slot.
HANNITY: Never! Not once!
PLAYBOY: She has in the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic.
HANNITY: But overall, we’re at double her ratings. You’ve got to be careful how you make these comparisons.
Though Fox News will likely be able to weather this ratings storm without compromising its conservative agenda, they may want to at least invest in fact checkers in the coming months. A February Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey showed trust in the network has dropped 9 points in the last few years.