News and Commentary

RATINGS CRASH: CNN Falls Out Of Cable’s Top 5 Networks In Prime Time
CNN World Headquarters.
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

The ratings are in, and they’re bad news for CNN: The legacy media network lost nearly one out of every four of its total viewers since last month.

Total daytime viewership fell by 22% in May compared to April, and even more (28%) among viewers aged 25-54, the most coveted viewing demographic.

The number of people tuning in for prime time also fell in May, causing CNN to crash out of the top 5 cable networks in prime time for the first time in months.

All three major cable news networks saw their audiences shrink over the last month, perhaps in part because casual viewers who tuned in to watch coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial in April tuned out in May.

Fox News again dominated cable news, and cable in general, coming in as the number one network in basic cable.

Fox News Channel won an average of 1.19 million viewers over the full day and 2.17 million in prime time. Its 3% dip in both categories represents the smallest decline of the cable news networks, according to Nielsen ratings data.

Fox News continued its near-lock on prime time programming, as four of the five top-rated TV shows in cable news aired on FNC: “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (1), “Hannity” (2), “The Five” (3), and “The Ingraham Angle” (5).

MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” once again made an appearance in the top five, checking in at number four.

MSNBC ranked second in total day (835,000) and prime time viewers (just under 1.5 million), but since April, has lost 12% of its total viewers, 6% during prime time, and 22% of prime time viewers aged 25-54.

CNN lagged further behind, failing to crack one million viewers in prime time or total viewership in the month of May. Only 913,000 people watched the first 24-hour cable news network’s prime time programming in May, and 610,000 overall.

The only good news for CNN came in the composition of its viewing audience: It ranked second among the coveted 25-54 demographic, beating MSNBC with younger viewers for the eighteenth month in a row.

“CNN continues to have the youngest audience in cable news in Total Day and prime time and reached the largest cumulative TV audience among both total viewers and adults 25-54 in May,” the network said in a press release, putting the best possible construction on disheartening ratings.

While CNN is still the fourth most-watched cable network overall — behind Fox News, MSNBC, and HGTV — its unique blend of commentary-posing-as-unbiased-journalism caused the network to crash to earth. Only the most Woke segment of society, the young, appear to be getting their news from the Atlanta-based network.

A major ethical scandal involving Chris Cuomo undoubtedly hurt the network’s audience and credibility, as the host of CNN’s most-watched show admitted that he had secretly advised his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), about how to respond to numerous allegations of sexual harassment. The move caused dissension among many of his colleagues at the network, although CNN President Jeffrey Zucker opted not to punish the anchor after Cuomo made an on-air apology.

The precipitous ratings decline may explain the network’s increasingly bitter criticism of competing news networks, particularly those whose politics skew more conservative. One of its few remaining Republican commentators called on Fox News to “start deplatforming” some of the “nuts” in prime time — who, coincidentally, have been beating CNN in the ratings ever since January (and for 19 years before that). CNN branded Newsmax and One America News Network as “noxious garbage” last month, as well.

The network also continued its purge of conservative voices in May, firing former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) over statements he made to a private conservative group about American exceptionalism.

CNN is making a fundamental miscalculation: The network hit ratings gold in January with saturation coverage of the D.C. riots. The Derek Chauvin trial breathed some life into its April viewership. CNN brass appears to believe that it’s the network’s chic, critical race theory-driven bias that attracted viewers, not one-off news events, so it is doubling down by further institutionalizing its leftward drift.

In a press release announcing the May ratings, CNN blames its slide on “a news cycle that has cooled down significantly from a year ago.”

But is there less news, or is CNN simply dedicated to ignoring every story that would make Joe Biden and Kamala Harris seem as ineffectual, fail, and out-of-touch as they are?

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

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  RATINGS CRASH: CNN Falls Out Of Cable’s Top 5 Networks In Prime Time