Thursday, 13 June 2019

In Shocking Ratings Plunge, CNN Loses One-Third of Primetime Audience

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The news isn’t getting any better for CNN.

The cable network often perceived as having a progressive, anti-Trump bias experienced a shocking 33-percent drop in its primetime audience last week compared to the same week last year. The total day decrease in viewership for CNN was a similarly alarming 21 percent.

The dramatic decline appears to be unique to CNN and not the case of cable news as a whole. Fox News (FNC), for instance, continued its now 22-week streak as the most-watched basic cable network for total day and also holds the Number One spot for primetime.

FNC boasted the week’s top cable telecast, Hannity. Other FNC programs like Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Ingraham Angle claimed 20 of the top 30 cable telecast spots in terms of total viewership.

FNC’s audience slide from last year of four percent for primetime and seven percent for total day pale in comparison to the humbling performance of its rival network.

The case also does not seem to be one of liberal vs. conservative. MSNBC, known for left-leaning, Trump-critical programs like Morning Joe and The Rachel Maddow Show, has firmly established itself as second place in ratings behind FNC and lost only 4 percent of primetime viewership and 5 percent of total day viewership compared to last year.

For primetime ranking, CNN falls short of breaking the top 10. At 15, the beleaguered news network trails behind names such as Hallmark, History, and Food Network.

The numbers are worse for CNN with the 25-54 age demographic — the group most courted by advertisers. With this demographic, CNN’s loss was a whopping 55 percent at primetime and 45 percent at total day.

FNC and MSNBC also sustained large losses with the 25-54 age group over the last year (FNC is down 25 primetime/22 total day and MSNB fell by 32 primetime/31 total day), but CNN’s slump far exceeds them.

The disparity between CNN and its competitors is staggering when considered in terms of the actual number of viewers.

Whereas FNC received an average of 2.34 million primetime viewers and 1.3 million in total day last week, and MSNBC brought in 1.58 million primetime/869,000 total day, CNN averaged only 726,000 viewers at primetime and 531,000 in total day.

President Trump has frequently criticized CNN’s coverage, going all the way back to the 2016 presidential election, when he labeled it the “Clinton News Network.”

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This has resulted in CNN becoming a favorite object of mockery and scorn among the president’s supporters.

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Photo of CNN sign at top of article: Veni/iStock Unreleased

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