History of Cable News Channels
- CNN entered the left-wing propaganda-as-news market in 1980, and invented the 24 hour Cable News format, and started to gain respectability.
- However, by 1996 Rupert Murdoch had recognized that the there was room for competition. Since CNN and the broadcast networks were all left leaning, there was a huge gap in the market for centrist to right leaning News, and Fox News was born.
- MSNBC was started the same year as FoxNews, but with Fox going to the right of the other left-leaning News, and NBC's already leftward slant, they decided to carve their niche to the left of even CNN: where they floundered for decades... until after the election of Trump, and they got a huge influx of pouty Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers, that wanted their propaganda even less balanced than CNN.
With 5 mainstream left channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN), and a couple ancillary ones (PBS and BBC), and only 1 right leaning one (FoxNews), FoxNews flourished and quickly surpassed CNN. The others struggled under hyper-competition. There were just too many suppliers for the same consumers, and FoxNews was peeling away too much of the untapped center/right audience. If CNN had been smart, they could have pivoted to the center (or soft right) and peeled off some of FoxNews's audience (especially later as Fox News drifted more right wing) -- but CNN was founded by ideologues and instead devolved from soft left to hard left, and made blunder after blunder, as their market eroded away from them, and Fox News beat them in ratings for two decades. Fox News also originally succeeded early because they had re-invented the news talk shows: instead of having 3 left of center pundits, and a left leaning moderator, all ganging up on a token conservative, Fox would divide it more evenly and let both sides views get out. This created more drama, intelligent debate and interest that the others style of gang raping a token conservative. But CNN and the others never learned that. Sadly, since lefties got tired of being outclassed intellectually (and started refusing to go on), it became harder for FoxNews to keep that format, and they devolved into a conservative (3 on 1) parody of CNN, just leaning the other way.
CNN was squeezed from all sides. They had broadcast channels beating them on hard news coverage. On cable, they had MSNBC offering more far-left talk shows. FoxNews peeled out any centrists from their lineup -- and had more centrist News, and more right leaning talkshows. Leaving CNN with small gaps in the middle, that they tried to fill with far-left Clinton and Obama cronies.  When caught spinning left, or making mistakes they alienated the center and quality seekers with attacks or denials. Thus the right, far-left and center were all served better elsewhere.
The left loves to rail against FoxNews and their bias. They were wrong in the 90's, they just didn't know where the center of the country was. But by the mid 2000's, FoxNews had shifted towards where the left though they were all along. But CNN was always the epitome of the left's complaints against FoxNews... the CNN reporters/refugees who fled to other networks freely talked about how :
- at CNN their stories had been spiked or doctored if they weren't left wing enough
- about how hostile the workplace was if you or a story didn't fit their ideology
- how poorly CNN treated conservative guests (and so it was hard to get guests, especially repeat ones)
- and since many of those reporters landed at FoxNews, they told unsolicited stories about how more more refreshing it was to be given editorial freedom of FoxNews, instead of micromanaged from the top for an political agenda -- this includes hard-core Liberals like Juan Williams.
Yet, despite all that, there's still many that refuse to admit that CNN has any bias or agenda -- but of course all channels are run by personalities, and those personalities all have a bias. There are no sainted liberals who never let it infect their reporting, and fewer producers that won't let it infect their programming -- the only question is how honest are they about it, and to what degree.
That doesn't make Fox News saintly, just no worse than CNN. (They started out better -- but eventually lost their balance and just decided it was easier to cater to the right, than the middle). And certainly MSNBC, not even having a News wing at all, and being all opinion, all the time, is even worse still. BBC and RT are both left leaning too (to fit their audiences) -- but on many things they're less heavy handed about it than the clunky partisan outlet CNN devolved into. And at least they're giving a fresher, outsiders (European or Russian view of events).