Nobody’s Watching: CNN Ratings Plunge Even Further — For Good Reason

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Tuesday, September 10, included Ed Helms ("Corporate Animals"), Don Lemon ("CNN Tonight with Don Lemon"), and musical guest Weezer. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images)
Randy Holmes via Getty Images

News, news, news everywhere!

The new year — 2023 — is chockablock full of news: The war in Ukraine threatens to spread, the U.S. House of Representatives is ramping up investigations into the Biden administration, the president has been found to have reams of classified documents, Democrats are moving on gun control.

So you’d think that a news service, say, one that beams into nearly every house in America, would be rolling in ratings.

But not so for CNN.

The liberal news network’s average primetime viewership plunged to just 444,000 viewers, according to TV Newser. How bad is that? Well, Fox News pulled in just under two million primetime viewers during that same week. And even more liberal MSNBC more than doubled CNN’s ratings, with 943,000 average primetime viewers.

The daytime is even worse for CNN. The network averaged just 417,000 viewers, while Fox News pulled in 1,387,00 million and MSNBC averaged 629,000 total viewers throughout the day.

Of course, there’s a good reason CNN’s ratings are pathetic: They’re so biased that viewers are tuning out in droves.

In the ratings for all of primetime cable TV networks, ESPN came in first, Fox News came in second, and MSNBC came in third. Where was CNN? Eighteenth! The network was wedged between TVLand and the Lifetime Network.

“In Adults 25-54, CNN placed 29th in primetime with 93,000 on average, and 15th in total day with 80,000 on average,” TV Newser reported. “The 80,000 A25-54 average in total day represents the network’s smallest delivery since 2014.”

In fact, compared to the previous week, CNN’s primetime viewers dropped 14%, was down 18% in primetime demo viewers, and fell 7% in total day viewers. And compared to the same week a year ago, CNN was down 23% in total primetime viewers, -28% in primetime demo viewers and -12% in total day viewers.

Don Lemon, the one-time primetime wonder boy, got crushed after moving to CNN’s failing morning show, “New Day.” That became “CNN This Morning,” but the name change didn’t matter — the show averaged just 331,000 viewers.

All this comes after reports emerged over the summer that incoming CNN president Chris Licht planned to take the network in a more centrist direction.

“We are truth-tellers, focused on informing, not alarming our viewers,” Licht wrote in one of his earliest memos to CNN staffers last June. “You’ve already seen far less of the ‘Breaking News’ banner across our programming. The tenor of our voice holistically has to reflect that.”

But Licht later emphatically rejected those reports.

“One of the biggest misconceptions about my vision is that I want to be vanilla, that I want to be centrist. That is bulls***,” Licht told the Financial Times in November, The Hill reported.

“You have to be compelling. You have to have edge. In many cases you take a side. Sometimes you just point out uncomfortable questions. But either way you don’t see it through a lens of left or right,” he said.

Sounds about right for Licht, a former showrunner for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

And with that philosophy, CNN can expect its ratings to remain in the basement.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Nobody’s Watching: CNN Ratings Plunge Even Further — For Good Reason