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CNN used to at least pretend to be a news organization. But that was some time ago.
Then, under Jeff Zucker, it seemed to turn into a Democratic narrative operation, and it alienated everyone on the right.
After they booted Zucker, they brought in Chris Licht, who at least pretended that he wanted some kind of objective operation. But then, that ticked off their rabid anti-Republican viewers. He also didn’t make enough of a change to help the network.
So they had a problem: they were stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. They disturbed their Democratic viewers and they aren’t getting back Republican viewers.
Now that they’ve booted Licht, they seem a complete mess.
Where have they gone from there? Down.
They were already in deep ratings trouble. But now they’ve taken a deep dive into the basement with a key demographic: the 25-54-year-old age group. They just notched their worst weekend ratings on record with that demo.
CNN — which launched in 1980 and bills itself as “the most trusted name in news” — totaled just 55,000 viewers for its weekend slate of shows that include Sunday political programs “State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash,” and “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”
The network’s Sunday primetime lineup, which featured “The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” drew 43,000 in the demo.
The ratings are the network’s worst since 1991 — the earliest TV data is readily available.
By comparison in the key demo, Fox was at 75,000 and MSNBC was at 47,000.
Overall viewership was not much better, 345,000, lagging far behind Fox, which had almost twice as much (683,000) and MSNBC (424,000).
CNN is bringing in a new guy to take over, Mark Thompson.
Thompson, who helped revitalize the Times’ finances by growing the paper’s digital subscriber base as chief executive from 2012 to 2020, will take the helm at CNN beginning Oct. 9.
Inside CNN, staffers are hoping that the incoming leader, who once managed the BBC as its director general, will lean into his hard news and digital experience, to not only amp up the ratings, but also grow the network’s revenue.
Their only option is to go back to hard news, but they’ve so alienated people, that even if the new guy went back to the news — which I doubt will happen — that probably wouldn’t be enough to get people back.
Comedian/actor Rob Schneider had the perfect response to the news of CNN hitting such a historic low.
CNN records lowest weekend ratings in demo in recorded history…
More people see MY tweets than watch the Liberal partisan dumpster fire that is CNN https://t.co/yrHUiw2oov
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) September 20, 2023
“CNN records lowest weekend ratings in demo in recorded history,” Schneider said. “More people see MY tweets than watch the Liberal partisan dumpster fire that is CNN”
Schneider’s response is hilarious and right on target: that tweet of his was seen by 688,3K viewers.
He also hits on a bigger problem for networks like CNN: people are no longer looking to networks for news in the same way that they have in the past, particularly when they don’t trust them, like CNN. So they can try to put a new guy in, but they can’t change the damaging history or the change in viewer habits.