Adding to weeks of reports of dwindling ratings, CNN has been “hemorrhaging viewers” since President Joe Biden took office on Inauguration Day. According to reports, CNN’s ratings are “down more than 50 percent in multiple categories” since January 20.
“The liberal network spent years attacking former President Donald Trump and the network thrived during his final days in office amid a brief post-election spike. CNN averaged 2.2 million viewers during the first three weeks of 2021, but it has averaged just one million viewers since Biden took office, a staggering decline of 54 percent,” reported Fox News.
This drop in on-screen fortunes began when Donald Trump left office. In March, The Daily Wire reported that “CNN has lost about a million viewers on average,” since Biden entered office, with CNN “drawing nearly 50% fewer viewers in the key 24-54 age group.”
Some conservatives were initially worried in early January when, after dominating cable news ratings for two decades, Fox News received “lower TV ratings than both CNN and MSNBC at the same time for the first time since 2000” in the week of the US Capitol riots.
“From Election Day through Inauguration Day, when Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in to succeed Trump as president, CNN was the most-watched cable news network in both total viewers (1.8 million),” reported USA Today. Mediaite reported that “MSNBC was the most-watched network in all of cable” on Friday January 22, with CNN dropping to third overall in prime time.
However, it seems that the sudden ascendency of CNN appears to be short-lived. Not only has their overall viewership declined by 54 percent, the plummeting numbers are even worse among key demographics.
“CNN’s struggles are even more prominent among the key advertising demographic of adults age 25-54, with a drop of 60 percent. It averaged 617,000 demo viewers from Dec. 28 through Inauguration Day but only 244,000 since Biden entered the White House,” added Fox News.
On The New York Times podcast, “Sway,” host Kara Swisher asked Don Lemon — one CNN anchor impacted by the dwindling viewership — whether he was concerned.
“No. I’m not worried about it … Trump was a horrible person. And he was terrible for the country. And it is better for all — for the world that he is no longer the President of the United States,” Lemon responded. “So if that means that cable news ratings go down? Aww. So I’m not really that concerned about it. I would prefer that my ratings go down and Trump not be in office than my ratings be sky-high and him be there. That’s the honest truth.”
Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” has also been struggling to retain his audience. In late March, The Daily Wire reported that “According to Nielson Media Research, the most recent episode of CNN’s Reliable Sources — hosted by Brian Stelter — saw its lowest rating of the year for the second weekend in a row,” adding Townhall.com’s report that Stelter’s show “failed to reach over a million viewers for the second time in as many weeks, while also boasting its second-lowest viewership of the year for its key demographic of 25 to 54 year-olds.”