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America’s Most Popular News Networks

Although it's close, FOX News appears to be America’s most popular news network—for now.

News networks like to claim they’re the most trustworthy or American’s favorite, so we asked 1,126 Americans to pick a winner. Get this: Nationwide, Americans prefer ABC News, with FOX News close behind, followed by CNN. But, when we divide the country into nine regions, FOX dominates, taking five regions and tying with ABC in a sixth. More on this after the break.

America’s favorite news networks across the nation

Nationwide, it’s a close call. ABC is the most watched news network, edging out FOX by one percentage point. CNN rounds out the top three.

America’s favorite news network (full results)

Chart of most preferred American news networks
  • ABC News: 20%
  • FOX News: 19%
  • CNN: 15%

The tight margin means ABC can continue to claim, “Every Day More Americans Choose ABC News, America’s #1 News Source.” But FOX is hot on the network’s heels with the cheeky motto, “Standing Up For What’s Right.” CNN, however, doesn’t appear to be the “Most Trusted Name in News.”

Regionally, however, FOX News is the most popular news network.

America’s favorite news networks by region

FOX’s regional dominance in our survey mirrors Nielsen ratings from last August, which saw FOX climbing while every other network fell. And FOX isn’t the only right-wing network to rank in our survey.

Newsmax finished in 9th place, tying with CNBC at 2%. These results show the rising popularity of fringe, far-right news networks.

Map showing the most popular news networks by region

In our research, we broke the county into nine regions, following the names used by the US census.

America’s favorite news network (full results)

  • FOX News
  • ABC News
  • CNN

FOX News (six regions)

FOX finished first in the Pacific, Mountain, West South Central, South Atlantic, and East South Central parts of the US. The network tied with ABC News in the West North Central region.

FOX was the second-most popular news network in the Mid-Atlantic (tying with CNN) and New England, and the network tied with CNN for third place in East North Central.

ABC News (four regions)

ABC News is the most popular news network in the East North Central, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions of the country.

The network finished second in four regions—Pacific, West South Central (tied with CBS), East South Central, and South Atlantic—and third in Mountain. These results make ABC the second-favorite news source in the US.

CNN

FOX News’s nemesis, CNN, had no first-place finishes but took two second-place and five third-place spots to be America’s third favorite news network. With CNN reportedly making a right turn, it will be interesting to see where the network stands next year.

Generational takeaways

How do the survey results break down generationally? Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z all get their news from different networks.

  • 1 in 4 (24%) of Baby Boomers prefer FOX News.
  • Gen X also chose FOX, with 22% of Xers preferring the network
  • Millennials (21%) and Gen Z (26%) prefer ABC

According to AllSides.com1 and MediaBiasFactCheck.com2, ABC News leans left. If true, that would also confirm that older generations lean conservative while younger generations have liberal views.

Final take

America has spoken. We’re still divided, but younger generations will eventually decide how America turns out.

Top 10 news networks across the nation

Rank News network % of votes
1 ABC 20%
2 FOX News 19%
3 CNN 15%
4 CBS 13%
5 NBC 10%
6 MSNBC 5%
7 PBS 3%
8 (tie) CNBC 2%
8 (tie) Newsmax TV 2%
10 Bloomberg 1%

America’s favorite news networks by region

Region Most popular Second-most popular Third-most popular
Pacific FOX News ABC CNN/CBS (tie)
Mountain FOX News CNN ABC
West North Central ABC/Fox News (tie) NBC CBS
West South Central FOX News ABC/CBS (tie) CNN
East North Central ABC NBC CNN/FOX News
East South Central FOX News ABC CNN
Middle-Atlantic ABC CNN/FOX News (tie) NBC
South Atlantic FOX News ABC CNN
New England ABC FOX News NBC

Methodology

We polled 1,126 Americans about their media preferences. We then segmented the Americans who had a preferred news network into 9 regions.

Sources

Endnotes

  1. “ABC News (Online),” AllSides.com. Accessed Oct. 26, 2022.
  2. “ABC News,” MediaBiasFactCheck.com. Accessed Oct. 26, 2022.

This content was produced by CableTV.com and is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with any of the brands or properties mentioned.

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