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Is CNN Dead? Primetime Ratings Drop to Three-Decade Low — a Paltry 83,000 Viewers in 25-54 Demo Suggests ‘Public Disinterest in Trump Drama’

cnn dead primetime rating drop three decade low k viewers   demo
Source: CNN; MEGA

CNN recently suffered a significant blow in its primetime ratings.

May 28 2024, Published 10:05 a.m. ET

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CNN recently suffered a significant blow in its primetime ratings, RadarOnline.com has learned, creating concerns that the struggling news network may not survive for very much longer.

In a surprising development to come as CNN has been plagued with internal shakeups and plummeting viewership numbers, it was revealed that the cable channel experienced its lowest-rated week in the coveted 25-54 age demographic since 1991 during the week of May 13-19.

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cnn dead primetime rating drop three decade low k viewers   demo
Source: MEGA

CNN experienced its lowest-rated week in the coveted 25-54 age demographic since 1991 during the week of May 13-19.

According to Nielsen, the network drew just 83,000 viewers that week in the 25-54 category from 8 to 11 PM.

Meanwhile, Fox News outperformed CNN by a wide margin with 186,000 viewers in the same demographic during the same time slot. MSNBC also surpassed CNN with 111,000 viewers.

The news likely marked a severe setback for new CNN boss Mark Thompson – particularly because Thompson remains under pressure to revive the network's dwindling viewership numbers.

Since joining CNN last October, Thompson has been scrutinized for his lack of significant programming changes.

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cnn dead primetime rating drop three decade low k viewers   demo
Source: CNN

CNN boss Mark Thompson has been under pressure to revive the struggling network.

“Thompson better get his act together before he completely destroys CNN,” one top network producer told The New York Post regarding the matter. “It seems like he’s thrown in the towel regarding cable.”

But despite calls for improvement, Thompson has so far struggled to implement substantial changes to CNN's lineup.

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Thompson's leadership style also allegedly ruffled feathers internally – with reports of discontent among staff members.

He recently made internal leadership changes and promoted Virginia Moseley to lead the newsroom as executive editor.

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cnn dead primetime rating drop three decade low k viewers   demo
Source: MEGA

Thompson's decision to cancel CNN This Morning and the departure of anchors Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly only added to the network's internal challenges.

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Additionally, Thompson's decision to cancel CNN This Morning and the departure of anchors Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly only added to the network's internal challenges.

“CNN’s new name is Cancelled Network Now,” one media insider joked. “Young people are as interested in Anderson Cooper as they are in Liza Minnelli.”

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Thompson reportedly articulated a vision for CNN centered on expanding the network's coverage beyond traditional news topics. He emphasized the importance of diversifying content and aimed to create new verticals that focused on topics like business, technology, climate, health, and wellness.

The media news outlet Puck noted that of the 27 weeks that CNN has averaged 100,000 or fewer demo viewers in primetime, 22 of those weeks occurred after Warner Bros. Discovery took over the network in April 2022.

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cnn dead primetime rating drop three decade low k viewers   demo
Source: MEGA

“A factor here is public disinterest in Trump drama and a fatigue with politics."

Puck reporter Peter Hamby also argued that CNN had a “fundamental problem” with its primetime lineups which likely triggered its paltry 83,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo earlier this month.

Hamby cited a “public disinterest in Trump drama” and a “fatigue with politics” as another possible reason for CNN’s poor viewership numbers.

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“A factor here is public disinterest in [Donald] Trump drama and a fatigue with politics,” Hamby acknowledged on Monday. “This has been a phenomenon since Trump left the White House for all media companies.”

“It’s not just about who is leading CNN at the top,” he added. “People are just not interested in this stuff.”

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