News and Commentary

Ratings Free Fall: CNN’s Brian Stelter Loses 72% Of Viewers In 2021
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 08: Brian Stelter attends CNN Heroes at American Museum of Natural History on December 08, 2019 in New York City.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

The ratings of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” plunged to their lowest level of the year this weekend, even as host Brian Stelter continues to dedicate every episode to criticizing the credibility of Fox News.

In all, his show has lost 72% of its viewers since its high point on January 10.

The new nadir came one week after Stelter all but begged White House spokesperson Jen Psaki to tell him how his network could better conform its coverage to the Biden administration’s talking points.

The latest episode of Stelter’s show failed to attract 1 million viewers for the 11th week in a row. A mere 752,000 total viewers tuned in to watch Stelter critique the media — usually heavily focused on the more successful Fox News — on Sunday. That’s down from a peak of 2.7 million viewers following the January 6 Capitol riot.

CNN’s ratings have steadily contracted ever since the breach breathed life into its sagging viewership. Stelter attracted 1.3 million viewers in February, 1.02 million in March, 917,000 in April, and 836,000 in May.

Stelter’s numbers look worse when measured by audience members who belong to advertisers’ most coveted demographic, the 25-to-54-year-old viewer. Only 129,000 people among that cash-rich cohort watched.

The ratings flop cannot be chalked up to a lack of interest in coverage of the media. “Reliable Sources,” which features Stelter providing commentary on the state of the mass media, airs in the same time slot as Fox News Channel’s “Media Buzz,” featuring former CNN host Howie Kurtz.  FNC’s media-focused show won an audience of 1.1 million, with 185,000 in the key television demographic.

“Fox News aired 12 different programs on Sunday alone that attracted a larger audience than ‘Reliable Sources,’” FNC reported.

Despite his poor record of producing viewers, Stelter maintained his laser-like focus on bashing Fox News. This weekend’s episode, in which he derided Fox News as “GOPTV,” belittled the network for revealing the contents of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s private emails. “Routine e-mails portrayed as scandalous. Where have we seen this trick before?” he asked.

The slump has apparently not hurt the sales of his New York Times bestseller, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth. Stelter launched the new, expanded paperback version of the book with a party attended by most of his daytime CNN colleagues.

Newly reinstalled CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who was caught masturbating during an online call hosted by The New Yorker, also paid a visit to Stelter’s pad.

But Stelter had to pay the cost of his own network’s lack of credibility during a disastrous appearance on CSPAN last Thursday. Numerous callers phoned in to express their displeasure with the network, which was once known as the “most trusted name in news.”

One caller, a self-described conservative who supported Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, told Stelter: “CNN, I cannot watch you. I wish I could. And MSNBC, they are worse than CNN.”

Another caller opined, “Mr. Stelter is the biggest minister of misinformation I have ever heard, and I’m a news junkie.”

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

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ratings Free Fall: CNN’s Brian Stelter Loses 72% Of Viewers In 2021