A recent survey conducted by YouGov indicates that CNN, which President Trump has included among media outlets that create ‘fake news’ now trails Fox News and MSNBC in brand perception. The study also revealed that CNN and MSNBC had a large drop in brand perception as compared to Fox News.
The study also revealed that only Fox news have scored a neutral mark, with equal positive and negative while both CNN and MSNBC are registering negative marks.
CNN’s dilemma started in August of 2016, when it showed a steady decline in brand perception. However, the marks revealed steep drops during mid-October period and was at its lowest during the Election day itself.
Notable news at that period when CNN’s decline happened was the Anderson Cooper interview of Melania Trump on the issue of Donald Trump’s ‘Access Hollywood’ recordings.
During the period, when a North Carolina Republican office was firebombed, CNN had suggested that it was Trump’s rhetoric which incited the incident. Conservative-leaning media blasted CNN for their insinuation.
After the Election, CNN was hit by a fake news scare back in late November when a tweet has gone viral that the network has broadcasted pornography in place of “Anthony Bordain’s Parts Unknown” show.
One observation is that the constant Trump bashing may have taken its toll on CNN.
The President’s consistent labeling of CNN for their relentless criticism as ‘fake news’, may have had a bigger impact on the network as opposed to what CNN President Jeff Zucker’s assertion that the President’s battering of the network has only inflicted small damage to the network’s consumer perception.
These incidents made an impact, further eroding the brand perception of the network. CNN has been struggling to get a full recovery since then.
MSNBC on the other hand dropped from mid-October to the end of the year. Fox News also registered a drop in brand perception from early June up till Thanksgiving. Both however did not register the steep drop that CNN had. The decline of all the three networks during the period may indicate that viewership may have been saturated with the coverage of the Election period.
Respondents for the survey were asked: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”