Hapless CNN struggles to find viewers among advertiser-coveted demo as network hits historic lows – Trending News

Hapless CNN struggles to find viewers among advertiser-coveted demo as network hits historic lows

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Long-struggling CNN had a historically small audience in February, particularly among the group of viewers needed to pay the bills. 

David Zaslav, CEO of parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, told investors last month that CNN’s turnaround might take some time. “It isn’t gonna happen overnight,” he said. 

Zaslav was correct, as CNN finished February with alarmingly low viewership to indicate any improvement could come at a snail’s pace. The month featured an overabundance of news, ranging from the ongoing war in Ukraine and a Chinese balloon being shot down by the U.S. to President Biden’s State of the Union Address, but it didn’t help CNN build an audience. 

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Jake Tapper and Don Lemon were among CNN hosts that struggled to attract viewers among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54 during February. 

CNN’s troubles were most significant among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54. CNN had its lowest-rated month in the category since May 2012, and its third lowest-rated month since the beginning of 2001. 

“Anderson Cooper 360” and “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” had their lowest-rated months in the category since June 2014, while “The Lead with Jake Tapper” had its worst performance since July 2014. 

John King’s “Inside Politics” has its smallest demo audience since August 2005—the month Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. 

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CNN had its lowest-rated month in the key demographic since May 2012, and its third lowest-rated month since the beginning of 2001. 

CNN had its lowest-rated month in the key demographic since May 2012, and its third lowest-rated month since the beginning of 2001.  (Screenshot/CNN)

“CNN Tonight” had its smallest audience ever in the critical category. The struggles put a spotlight on the glaring hole in CNN’s primetime lineup, which has been without a permanent 9 p.m. ET host since Chris Cuomo was fired in 2021.

Fox News, TBS, USA, Food Network, HGTV, TLC, Bravo, A&E, Discovery, Comedy Central, History, FX, Investigation Discovery, AMC, Hallmark, MTV and FXX all had larger primetime audiences than CNN among the demo sought-after by advertisers. It was CNN’s worst primetime performance among the demo since December 2013. 

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"CNN This Morning" finished No. 36 among cable news programs in the demo.

“CNN This Morning” finished No. 36 among cable news programs in the demo. (Screenshot/CNN/CNNThisMorning)

“CNN This Morning,” which launched in November after Don Lemon was shuffled from a solo primetime show to the ensemble AM program, had its smallest audience ever among both total viewers and the key demo. The ratings-challenged program finished No. 36 among cable news programs in the demo, making it one of the least-watched shows currently airing on Fox News, MSNBC or CNN. 

Despite “Anderson Cooper 360” having its worst month in the demo since 2014, the program still managed to be CNN’s most-popular program in the category. “AC 360” averaged 133,000 demo viewers in February to finish 20th in cable news, leading CNN despite finishing behind 15 different Fox News and four MSNBC offerings. 

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All data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.

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