The network once known as the “most trusted name in news” is quickly becoming the most deserted.
CNN‘s struggle to maintain relevance following the departure of President Donald Trump has never been more glaring. The news channel is suffering from an unprecedented drought in viewership, going the first two weeks of October without any program averaging 1 million viewers, an astonishing 21-day streak that began in September.
CNN’s total day viewer average has plummeted to 484,000, a distant third behind Fox News’ 1.4 million and MSNBC’s 685,000 from Oct. 1 through Oct. 15, according to Nielsen data. CNN’s weekday primetime average reached just 729,000 while Fox News topped with 2.6 million versus MSNBC’s 1.5 million.
The last time CNN had at least one program averaging 1 million viewers was Sept. 24.
“AC:360” anchor Anderson Cooper, who had the most-watched CNN program in September averaging 916,000 viewers, has been capped at the knees so far this month, falling a whopping 17% to an average of 759,000 viewers. Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” averaged 3 million viewers, quadrupling CNN’s viewership. MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” averaged 1.3 million in the same time period.
“Cuomo Prime Time” anchor Chris Cuomo nabbed Cooper’s leading status from last month averaging 818,000 viewers, a 6% drop from September. Fox News’ “Hannity” continues to trounce Cuomo, averaging 2.76 million viewers while MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” averaged 2.17 million so far this month.
Don Lemon continues to suffer in the 10 pm ET primetime slot, averaging just 619,000 viewers two weeks into October, a 15% drop from his 724,000 average last month. Meanwhile, Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” has averaged 2.2 million viewers, more than tripling Lemon’s audience, in the first two weeks of October while MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” reached 1.3 million viewers.
As bad as CNN’s primetime lineup is doing, the network’s daytime programming continues to hemorrhage viewers as well.
“The Lead” anchor Jake Tapper has failed to reach 700,000 viewers so far this month, averaging just 671,000 after previously averaging 737,000 in September.
CNN’s left-wing media guru Brian Stelter also had a great fall below the 700,000 threshold, reaching only a 665,000 average between his first two October installments of his Sunday program “Reliable Sources.”
Stelter has only exceeded 1 million viewers twice since March, one of them being the breaking news coverage of billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space flight in July, the other in August amid the Biden administration’s chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The network’s flagship morning program “New Day” continues to hit new lows, averaging a devastating 386,000 viewers after losing 10% of its audience since last month so far. The John Berman-Brianna Keilar duo remains as some of CNN’s least-watched talent in all of the network’s weekday programming.
Even William Shatner’s adventure into space couldn’t give CNN the boost it needed, topping at just 986,000 viewers during the 11 am ET timeslot when the Blue Origin crew launched and returned to Earth.
CNN’s evaporating viewership comes as the network continues to be plagued by scandals and controversies. Embattled anchor Chris Cuomo was accused of sexual harassment by veteran TV producer Shelley Ross last month after the primetime star spent much of 2021 being engulfed in the scandals of his brother, ousted Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Last week, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta was forced to admit by podcast superstar Joe Rogan that his colleagues should not have characterized the use of ivermectin as a COVID treatment as the equivalent of taking “horse dewormer.”