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CNN Ratings Worsen Despite New Leadership

AP Photo/Ron Harris

Despite a fresh face at the helm, CNN’s ratings are stuck in freefall mode. 

Pledging to “go a different way” as “extremes are dominating cable news,” when he took over in early May, CEO Chris Licht hasn’t yet seen the hoped-for results. 


Only 654,000 viewers on average per night tuned in to June’s primetime lineup, while the network attracted 487,000 viewers on average during the day. These numbers represent a slight decline from May, even with the Jan. 6 House committee hearings. 

In May, meanwhile, CNN dropped 5 percent in total primetime viewers (660,000) and 11 percent in the 25-54 primetime demographic (150,000) from April. It saw worse losses for the total day audience, suffering a 20 percent drop in the demo (106,000) and 14 percent in overall viewership (500,000). In both May and June, CNN ranked only 12th across basic cable in primetime.

Meanwhile, CNN’s audience freefall over the past two months is even more severe considering that the network’s April had already seen big drop-offs from March, which featured daily breaking news about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Daily Beast)

According to The Daily Beast, June marked CNN’s lowest-rated month in total day viewership in seven years. 

MSNBC, meanwhile, did not experience a similar trend. 

Conversely, MSNBC, which is CNN’s main competition for liberal-leaning viewers, had a banner month in June as viewers flocked to the Comcast-owned outfit for coverage and analysis of the House hearings.

MSNBC’s daytime coverage of the hearings netted it an average of 767,000 viewers, which was second most among all basic cable channels. That’s a 21% increase from its average daytime viewership in May.

The network also boasts a total audience of 3 million people who tuned in to watch the hearings.

MSNBC’s primetime also benefited from the Jan. 6 drama, as the network average 1.28 million viewers, good for second place.

In total, MSNBC had a 30% boost in primetime audience as well as a 23% increase in the number of its daytime viewers for the month of June. (NY Post)


Fox News continues to dominate, averaging 2.2 million viewers for its primetime lineup, according to Nielsen. 

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