It looks like cable news has, as this article puts it, reached a peak: last year all three major U.S. cable news networks lost viewer, the first time in this study where all three of them declined in the same year. It’s not just CNN, though none of us will be surprised to hear that its decline was the worst. Fox News is still way ahead of the others, but — even though 2010 was an election year — they were down 11 percent. (It’s well-known that Glenn Beck has been losing viewers, but he’s not the only one.) MSNBC declined the least, but I’d be willing to bet that’ll change this year, given that they let go of their most popular opinion personality.
The study does note that even with fewer viewers, cable news was making more money last year, due to a partial economic recovery (for the TV industry anyway).