In October, CNN demonstrated a comparatively diminished level of performance when compared to other prominent cable news networks, with particular emphasis on the influential Fox News. As evidenced by a report released on Tuesday, the network did manage to draw a certain number of viewers in comparison to the previous year.
“Fox News again topped all the cable news networks in October, but only CNN and MSNBC gained viewers versus last year, as Israel-Gaza coverage and the House Speaker upheaval dominated the news cycle,” Deadline reported.
The publication added: “In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.12 million viewers, down 7% from October 2022. MSNBC drew 1.33 million, up 12%, and CNN posted 722,000, an increase of 16%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 256,000, off by 13%, while CNN averaged 167,000, up 25%, and MSNBC posted 132,000, up 16%.”
“In total, Fox News averaged 1.36 million, down 8%, followed by MSNBC with 895,000, up 19%, and CNN with 600,000, an increase of 12%. In the adults 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 174,000, down 15%, while CNN posted 124,000, up 17%, and MSNBC was at 98,000, up 23%.” Deadline added with more detail, noting that Nielsen provides the ratings data through Fox News.
As with all networks, “The Five” of Fox News maintained its position as the highest-rated cable news program, attracting an average audience of three million viewers. FOX’s “Jesse Watters Primetime,” which aired thereafter, averaged 2.58 million viewers. Additionally, Watters co-hosts The Five. Subsequent in viewership were Fox’s “Special Report” (2.21 million) and Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” (2.17 million), with Sean Hannity coming in at 2.41 million.
“In adults 25-54, The Five averaged 316,000, followed by Hannity with 300,000, Gutfeld! with 292,000, Jesse Watters Primetime with 270,000, and The Ingraham Angle with 244,000,” Deadline reported, adding: “‘The Rachel Maddow Show,’ which airs on Mondays, averaged 2.5 million viewers, per MSNBC.”
CNN’s news remains bleak, though, and the network made cable news history in September—albeit not in a good way.
“The network just hit an all-time low in viewership among the key demographic in primetime ratings, according to the latest data released by Nielsen,” TheStreet.com reported at the time.
The decline is “another sign of the difficulties facing incoming boss Mark Thompson,” the New York Post added.
The Post added as follows: “The cable news network logged its worst weekend ratings on record in the all-important 25- to 54-year-old demo, according to the latest Nielsen data. CNN — which launched in 1980 and bills itself as ‘the most trusted name in news’ — totaled just 55,000 viewers for its weekend slate of shows that include Sunday political programs ‘State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash,’ and ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS.’ The network’s Sunday primetime lineup, which featured ‘The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper’ and ‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,’ drew 43,000 in the demo.”
The website also reports that the network’s weekend performance was its worst since 1991, the earliest year for which readily accessible television viewership statistics are available.
CNN’s estimated total viewership was approximately 345,000, which was significantly lower than Fox News’ 683,000 and MSNBC’s 424,000, which lean to the left.
“Fox won the battle in the key demo as well, drawing 75,000 viewers to top MSNBC’s 47,000, which finished behind CNN,” The Post noted.
An insider informed The Washington Post that CNN is a ratings disaster. At minimum, Thompson will furnish them with guidance.
Prior to this, Thompson was the CEO of The New York Times Company. Following a short but regarded by industry insiders as unsuccessful tenure, Chris Licht was selected by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery to assume the role of CNN’s new chairman last month.
Subsequent to the June release of a critical article by The Atlantic, wherein he was characterized as fixated and dubious of his predecessor, Jeff Zucker, he was terminated.
Thompson assumed the presidency on October 9.
During Licht’s tenure, broadcasters Don Lemon and Brian Stelter were terminated, whereas Chris Cuomo’s prime-time replacement, Kaitlin Collins, was either assigned a new role or granted her own program. Even so, that has not transpired favorably.