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Days After Trump Town Hall, CNN Saw a Prime Time Ratings 'Crisis'

AP Photo/Ron Harris

Amid its ratings struggles, CNN reached a “humiliating” low during Friday’s prime time lineup, two days after its town hall with former President Donald Trump, which brought in more than 3.3 million viewers.


During its three-hour prime time block, the cable news network averaged 335,000 viewers, falling behind Newsmax.

Star anchor Anderson Cooper mustered just 447,000 viewers for his flagship 360 show - 20,000 less than Eric Bolling, formerly of Fox News.

Cooper's new Friday night show at 9pm, The Whole Story With Anderson Cooper, fell even wider of the mark with 293,000 tuning in. That compares to 325,000 who watched Chris Plante, an ex-Pentagon Correspondent for CNN, on Newsmax.

In the 10pm slot, Chris Wallace - the Democrat-voting former Fox host - managed just 263,000 viewers compared to Greg Kelly who secured an audience of 278,000.

CNN averaged 325,000 prime time viewers, while Newsmax netted an average of 357,000. The liberal news channel is now being thumped by a cable station which only started broadcasting in 2014. Meanwhile its old rival Fox hauled in an average of 1.44million prime time viewers and MSNBC netted 1.08million.

In the 25-54 age demographic, which is important to networks for advertising revenue, CNN fared better but still lagged behind its major rivals.

Prime time viewing figures in this category were 7 percent higher than the prior four Fridays, while both Fox and MSNBC were down double digits, 29 percent and 18 percent respectively. 

The Warner Bros Discovery-owned channel brought in 87,000 average viewers. Fox led with 109,000 viewers, MSNBC was in second with 98,000 and Newsmax trailed with 45,000.

After 9pm, no CNN show managed to breach the 300,000 viewer threshold. (Daily Mail)


A spokesperson said the ratings " not related to CNN," but suggested Newmax's bump is due to viewers leaving Fox News over Tucker Carlson's ouster.

“The phenomenon you’ve identified is not related to CNN,” spokesperson Matt Dornic told The New York Post on Tuesday. “Fox News viewership is down double digits as their viewers jump to Newsmax in huge numbers.”

Friday's numbers come after widespread outrage among the left over the Trump town hall, including from anchors at the network. 

CEO Chris Licht issued a strong defense of the event, however, saying he "absolutely, unequivocally believe[s] America was served very well by what we did." 

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