While Fox News took a beating after Tucker Carlson’s departure, CNN’s rating nosedive in the past year makes the conservative network’s decline look like a kiddie slide.
The most recent reports show CNN viewership is at an all-time low. About two weeks ago their overall total hovered around a measly 429,000 daily viewers.
As Megyn Kelly declared, “429?? That should be their demo! That shouldn’t be their overall number. They’re not even cracking a half a million in the overall!”
These numbers come in spite of the 3.3 million viewer bump in ratings last month for Trump’s town hall.
Newsmax, the newest but scrappy network to join the ranks of conservative cable news, fared better than CNN last month by over 20,000 viewers.
Scandals and Shakeups
One of the biggest controversies surrounding the network occurred when popular host Don Lemon declared on the morning show he shared with two female co-hosts that presidential candidate Nikki Haley was “past her prime.” With that, Lemon managed to offend the last remaining audience CNN had – liberal women.
It was enough for now-ousted CEO, Chris Licht to deride Lemon openly.
“His remarks were upsetting, unacceptable and unfair to his co-hosts, and ultimately a huge distraction to the great work of this organization,” Mr. Licht told his staff, according to a recording of the call obtained by The New York Times.
Licht had been brought on board to salvage CNN. In an attempt to bring the trust back to “The Most Trusted Name in News” he fired some of the network’s most partisan hosts such as Brian Stelter.
CEO is Out at CNN
CNN ousted Licht “after a tumultuous year leading the struggling news network that culminated in a damning magazine profile and the growing realization that he’d lost the confidence of the network’s journalists,” The Associated Press reported.
He wasn’t the only one to get the boot. Many of Licht’s inner circle including communications chief Kris Coratti, PR flack Matt Dornic, and Licht’s chief of staff Devan Cayea, were also let go.
Is There Redemption for CNN?
Megyn Kelly, the ex-host at Fox News and NBC, had some advice for CNN on her highly-rated Sirius XM show and podcast.
“Firing Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, and Brian Stelter was a start but I’m afraid the problem went well beyond that and so must the solution. You’re going to have to say goodbye to still more talent and many who work behind the scenes.”
She said the team at CNN sacrificed their credibility during the Trump era, and there is a “price to pay for that.”
The producers and people currently working at CNN were attracted to the far-left culture that Jeff Zucker, the former CEO, created. He led, and as Kelly proclaims, “coached and goaded,” CNN hosts and commentators to outwardly deride and chastise Trump supporters and anyone who didn’t subscribe to the network’s narrative.
the network may have won the battle in 2020, but in the fog of war, CNN lost many viewers.
Anyone trying to resuscitate a brand that lost trust due to everything from reporting on COVID to Chris Cuomo was going to have a tough row to hoe.
CNN and The New Media Landscape
Despite its abysmal performance, CNN isn’t the only cable news network in decline. In general, news media is experiencing a shake-up as new media outlets and platforms developed for independent voices proliferate daily.
It’s been fun watching the usual suspects from mainstream media meltdown over Tucker’s popularity outside of the framework they are used to criticizing.
The Washington Post called Carlson “just another social-media conspiracy theorist” for his perspectives on the dam break in Ukraine. Vanity Fair cried that he repeated “the same old script – only under worse lighting.”
The truth is 100 million people would have tuned in if Tucker were in a closet. They’re coming to hear his thoughts and the truth – something the mainstream media loathes. At the very least, they tune in to listen to a voice they now know isn’t paid for by an overinflated salary and media ad buys.
The media landscape seems to be suffering the same fate as brands such as Bud Light and Target. They continue to cater to lies shouted from the rooftops by a small minority with the loudest voices in the room; lies many Americans will not stand for. So, they – and their dollars – go elsewhere.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19Fortyfive. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics, and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.