Since former President Donald Trump left the White House, viewership at establishment media outlets has plunged. However, many Americans stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and seek news from established sources.

The Associated Press—citing 2021 year-end figures released by Nielsen on Monday, Dec. 27, revealed that establishment media outlets, most of which are left-leaned, are being abandoned in 2021 after Trump ended his presidency.

This year, weekday prime-time viewership fell sharply at cable news networks, down 38% at CNN, 34% at Fox News Channel, and 25% at MSNBC.

These legacy television outlets are suffering in a post-Trump world, though they were the main form of evening entertainment for millions of Americans last year.

Some large digital sites have also seen a declining viewership after witnessing explosive subscriber growth in the Trump era. For example, the number of unique visitors to Washington Post’s site plunged 44% in November compared to the same period last year, while the visitors to The New York Times plummeted 34%.

The viewership also fell significantly at broadcast television evening newscasts: 12% at ABC’s “World News Tonight” and the “CBS Evening News,” 14% at NBC’s “Nightly News,” Nielsen data shows.

This year’s dwindling popularity of news content comes in stark contrast to last year when the presidential election and COVID-19 pandemic drove intense audience engagement to traditional, established news outlets.

Viewers are also not spending much time at media outlets, though many stay at home due to mass COVID-19 lockdowns.

Viewership interest in politics is also declining. The media monitoring company NewsWhip looked at 13.5 million political articles online this year and found an average of 321 engagements or social media interactions. Last year, NewsWhip traced 14 million articles and saw an average of 924 engagements or interactions.

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