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CNN's Ratings Truly Are Really Stunningly Bad, and They May Get Worse

AP Photo/Ron Harris

Everybody knows that Fox News dominates the ratings. Seven of the top 10 shows for the second quarter--which runs March 29 to June 25-- came from the network while the others came from MSNBC. As for CNN? The top-rated show, "Cuomo Prime Time," comes in at the 22nd spot.


In a takeaway of the news for The Daily Wire, Ben Johnson writes that "CNN thrived in the first quarter because of one event: the January 6 Capitol riot. Lacking a captivating national news story and devoid of compelling guests, the network continues to flounder."

That show and "Anderson Cooper 360" were the only two from the network to reach 1 million viewers.

The fact then that CNN would shamelessly brag about their ratings is something else, but well, to quote the network's motto, "this is CNN." From a June 29 press release:

CNN Tops All Cable News Nets Year-to-Date among Adults 25-54

Erin Burnett Outfront, Anderson Cooper 360 and Don Lemon Tonight 

Surpass MSNBC in the Key Demo 25-54 in 2Q; Cuomo Prime Time Posts CNN’s Highest Delivery in Total Viewers and Demo 

CNN’s Newest Dayside Programs CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera and CNN Newsroom with Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell Rank #1 in Cable News; The Lead with Jake Tapper is also Top-Rated among Adults 25-54 this Quarter

CNN beat MSNBC in all dayparts during the second quarter, including Total Day, prime time, dayside and on weekends in the coveted demographic adults 25-54 according to Nielsen data. CNN is the top-rated cable news network – outperforming MSNBC and FNC — since the New Year in Total Day among 25-54 and is a top 10 cable network in total viewers across dayparts this quarter. During Q2, CNN ranked #3 in total viewers and #2 in the demo in All of Cable (not just news) in dayside. CNN continues to have the youngest audience in cable news in Total Day and prime time in Q2 and continues to reach the largest cumulative TV audience among both total viewers and adults 25-54 2021-to-date.  CNN’s digital platforms are also having record numbers, making CNN the most watched and most used news and information brand in the world.


There's plenty more from the press release, but it's all to do with the demo. 

CNN wasn't the only one with a press release, though. 

Fox News was all too happy to call out the network:

Notably, CNN’s viewership fell to new lows since the start of the year, notching its lowest-rated month in both categories in total day since July 2019, with 70 percent declines in both primetime and total day across the board as well as its lowest-rated primetime demo since August 2015. Of all news networks, CNN is down the most year to year, shedding more than half of its audience with both total day and primetime demo. Meanwhile, MSNBC lost over half its audience in all categories since January 2021 to date, as FNC remains the top-rated cable news network year-to-date in both total day and primetime total viewers.


Host Greg Gutfeld’s new late night program Gutfeld! finished the quarter as the number one-rated show in cable news in total viewers at 11 PM/ET, surpassing every CNN program in total viewers as well as various broadcast and cable comedy shows...


...Notably, the CNN program averaged only 846,000 viewers and 156,000 with A25-54, down 39 percent and 48 percent respectively versus the first quarter. In June, Reliable Sources plummeted to its lowest-rated month of the year, shedding over half its audience in both categories since the start of the calendar year. 

A press release from MSNBC compares all of its shows to CNN's when it comes to the ratings, and makes such notes:

“The Rachel Maddow Show” More Than Doubles CNN’s Total Audience, Tops CNN for the 47th Consecutive Quarter in Total Viewers and A25-54


The following shows topped CNN for the quarter in total viewer: “Way Too Early with Kasie Hunt” at 5am for the 15th straight quarter; “Stephanie Ruhle Reports’’ at 9am for the 18th straight quarter; “Hallie Jackson Reports” at 10am for the 17th straight quarter; “Craig Melvin Reports” at 11am for quarter; “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at 12pm for the quarter; “MTP Daily” at 1pm for the quarter; “Deadline: White House” from 4pm-6pm (“Deadline” was also #1 at 4pm among total viewers), topping CNN for the 16th straight quarter; “The Beat with Ari Melber” at 6pm for the 16th straight quarter; “The ReidOut” at 7pm for the 4th straight quarter; “All In with Chris Hayes” at 8pm for the 18th straight quarter; “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” at 10pm for the 24th straight quarter and “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” at 11pm for the 19th straight quarter. On Saturdays, “VELSHI” from 8am-10am beat CNN for three of the last four quarters.


Writing for Fox News, Brian Flood addressed CNN and MSNBC's poor ratings by citing experts. Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson told Fox News pointed out that the networks "were one-trick ponies, and that trick was bashing Trump." Fox News contributor and columnist for The Hill Joe Concha predicted that the third quarter ratings could be even worse.

"Q3 will be even worse in looking at the trends for both networks, if that’s possible. The numbers are where they are because of two things: Their myopic ratings hook, Donald Trump, isn’t around anymore. But more importantly, these networks have a serious credibility problem," Concha said, noting that left-wing stars from each network have recently generated negative headlines but went unpunished.

Predictably, former President Donald Trump was thrilled.

During his Saturday night rally in Sarasota, Florida, Trump suggested "think one of my greatest achievements is explaining to people that the media in this country is corrupt and it's corrupt."

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