After two months under new management and marching orders to stop being so woke, CNN’s ratings continue to tank.
The changes instituted under Jeff Zucker replacement Chris Licht have included efforts to make the network less ‘politically divisive’ and instead shift to a more neutral tone, according to the Daily Beast. Licht was brought in to deal with the aftermath of chief anchor Chris Cuomo’s implosion, as well as the network’s disastrous streaming service.
Licht promised that the network would “seek to go a different way” in an environment “where extremes are dominating cable news,” and has reportedly been looking at firing partisan hosts and commentators – a rumor which has thus far not panned out.
What’s more, Licht has ordered the network to stop sticking “Breaking News” banners on everything, and to stop calling former President Trump’s 2020 election fraud claims the “Big Lie,” and to instead use “Trump election lie” or “election lies.”
And despite all that, ratings continue to plummet – dropping even more since Licht began his post.
For the month of June, and despite the Jan. 6 House committee holding several blockbuster hearings that should have been squarely in the channel’s wheelhouse, CNN actually lost viewership from the previous month. Worse yet, the network had already seen drops over the previous two months.
CNN’s primetime lineup only attracted 654,000 total viewers and 148,000 in the key advertising demographic of viewers aged 25-54—a 1-percent decline in both categories from May. And in total day viewership, CNN’s overall audience dropped to 487,000 while it attracted 104,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, shedding 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
And during the week of June 13 to 19, which featured quite a bit of focus on the committee hearings, the network only averaged 480,000 viewers overall, a 13-percent drop from its May averages and the channel’s worst week since November 2015.
June 2022 was CNN’s lowest-rated month in total day viewership since July 2015. -Daily Beast
CNN competitor MSNBC, on the other hand, saw big gains surrounding the Jan. 6 hearings and analysis, however it still finished second in all of basic cable with just 767,000 viewers – up 21% from May.
When it comes to primetime viewers, CNN dropped 5% (660,000) and 11% in the coveted 24-54 primetime demographic (150,000) vs. April, and saw worse losses for the total day audience of 20% in that same demographic, and 14% overall.
In May and June, CNN ranked just 12th across primetime basic cable.
Fox News, meanwhile, has seen its audience steadily increase since the second-half of 2021.