Last month Fox Business Network announced it would become a client of Nielsen meaning, among other things, its viewer numbers would finally be made public.
Many in the industry took this as a sign that, after launching back in late 2007, FBN’s viewership was finally strong enough they felt confident releasing their ratings.
We’ll take a longer look at FBN’s numbers in the week ahead but judging by this report from HuffPo Don Imus is no longer the person driving viewers to FOX.
According to the Nielsen ratings, Imus averaged 65,000 viewers in the first quarter of 2011–down 45% from his 2010 figures. Imus is also down 48% thus far in April when compared to his April 2010 numbers. (The show averaged around 127,000 viewers when it launched in October 2009.)
Imus was hired by FBN back in 2008 — a year after he was booted from the radio following the Rutgers women’s basketball controversy — with the idea that his name brand would drive viewers to the new network. And presumably that worked for a while.
But based on this drop his cache has been seriously diminished and is being replaced by the likes of Cavuto and Lou Dobbs Tonight and Varney & Co, which HuffPo notes have been increasing in ratings.