CNN Just Had Its Worst Weekday in 22 Years


CNN did the limbo last week, and it’s left people wondering — how low can its views go?

The network nearly bottomed out Friday with its lowest weekday viewership since Monday, July 10, 2000, according to Fox News. To make matters worse, its low numbers included the key viewer demographic, viewers aged 25 to 54 who are coveted by advertisers.

CNN brought in a measly 56,000 viewers in the demographic, Fox reported. Its viewer total Friday was only 283,000, according to Fox.

The politics and entertainment website Mediaite reported CNN’s numbers as slightly higher for Friday, 59,000 in the demographic and 303,000 total. Still, those were CNN’s lowest numbers for a Friday since July 14, 2000, Mediate reported.

Fox reported its own total viewers for Friday as 1.4 million, with 209,000 in the demographic. Mediaite’s numbers again were higher, giving Fox 1.56 million total viewers, with 221,000 in the key demographic.

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But either way, CNN’s numbers paled in comparison to Fox’s.

In a distant second place, according to Mediate, MSNBC trailed with 818,000 average total viewers, 83,000 of them in the key demographic.

To many, this is likely not a surprise. Even Democratic viewers have been leaving their “trusted” networks behind for some time, abandoning CNN and MSNBC to watch Fox News personalities like Tucker Carlson instead.

One could argue that CNN has been sliding downhill for a while, but one need not look further than this year.

Do you consider CNN a credible news source?

It doesn’t help that CNN seems to have a serious employee screening problem, starting from the top. After all, a company is only as good as its people.

In January, a former CNN producer, John Griffin, was hit with a new lawsuit over alleged child sex trafficking while already facing federal child sex trafficking charges.

In February, CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker, stepped down after an affair with a female subordinate.

The network also hired ex-con Rex Chapman, who tweeted: “How about we all agree that hospitals have the right to turn away unvaccinated covid patients? They have freedom of choice too right?”

It fired Chris Cuomo as well, but that was, technically, last year’s news.

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And then there was CNN+, the three-week-long streaming service fiasco that The New York Times called one of the “most spectacular media failures in years.”

The year isn’t even half over and already the network seems to be getting desperate.

CNN’s new CEO Chris Licht, named to the job in April, has made changes since starting work in May, such as lessening the network’s use of its “breaking news” banner and rounding off the edges of some of its more polarizing on-air commentators.

Licht clearly hopes efforts like these will calm down the “outrage” reporting and hype the network has become famous for, and thereby reach more viewers of all types.

CNN has backed itself against a wall.

Unfortunately for CNN, simply “identifying” as a network with great ratings won’t necessarily make it so.

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Ole Braatelien is a social media coordinator for The Western Journal. He currently attends Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication.