Median Age of Newscast Viewers Up
After 9/11, the median age of newcast was down as more younger people tuned in. News organizations loved it. But, it did not last.The Graying of the News
...The median age of viewers for CBS' 60 Minutes has grown to 59 from 57. In households, the news mag's ratings are down 5 percent from last season, but its 18-34 and 18-49 ratings are lower by 13 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Its 35-64 rating is up 7 percent, while its 55-plus audience is flat. CBS' 48 Hours has risen in median age to 56 from 53. While its 18-34 ratings are down and 18-49s are flat, the show has seen its 55-plus ratings grow by 25 percent.
ABC's Primetime Thursday is down 21 percent in households, with a sizable chunk of that coming from the loss of 18-34 and 18-49 viewers, down 38 percent and 40 percent, respectively, in the ratings.
NBC's Dateline Tuesday and Dateline Friday are both down in households, 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Dateline Tuesday is off 5 percent in 18-34 and 10 percent in 18-49, and Dateline Friday is down 2 percent in 18-49. Yet Dateline Tuesday is up 25 percent in male viewers 55-plus, and Dateline Friday is up 30 percent among male viewers in that demo and up 54 percent in females 55-plus.
"Younger people have a tendency to pay more attention to crisis events," said Brad Adgate, vp of research for Horizon Media. "Many of them have returned to watching sitcoms. As for older viewers, news programming is really a safe harbor for them. There's not much else that targets them."