CNN dropped to fourth place in primetime on Friday, just two days after the network achieved a rare ratings victory when it hosted a town hall event that featured former President Donald Trump.
Trump helped the struggling network dominate its competition at Fox News, MSNBC and Newsmax in the 8 p.m. ET hour Wednesday.
The New Hampshire town hall in which the former president sparred with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins was watched by 3.3 million total viewers, according to ratings reported by Mediaite.
Meanwhile, Fox News and MSNBC hauled in 1.3 million viewers apiece and Newsmax’s Eric Bolling attracted 394,000 viewers.
CNN paid an immediate price as many people on the left were upset the network gave Trump a forum.
Simultaneously, conservatives did not reward Collins or her network by returning to watch it without the former president.
Two days after the town hall, CNN dropped to fourth place in the 8 p.m. ET slot.
“Anderson Cooper 360” attracted only 447,000 total viewers for the evening — behind even Newsmax, which brought in 467,000 viewers, Mediaite reported.
The upstart conservative network celebrated its victory in a Monday tweet.
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) May 16, 2023
Meanwhile, Fox News won the night after “Fox News Tonight” drew in 1.3 million viewers.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes came in second with 1.1 million viewers.
The Fox News victory must be put into context.
The slot that was held by Tucker Carlson for more than six years routinely hauled in 3 million viewers before he was cut loose with no warning and without an explanation on April 24.
While 1.3 million was good enough to put the network over the top for the hour on Friday, the successor to “Tucker Carlson Tonight” drew a fraction of the audience 8 p.m. presumably would have just weeks before.
Fox News is still navigating its way through Carlson’s ouster, which has led to a surge in viewers for Newsmax.
MSNBC’s ratings have remained largely unaffected by the recent cable news drama.
CNN has long struggled to compete with both Fox News and liberal counterpart MSNBC.
The network hosted Trump for a special event and the bounce was predictably short-lived, given how it was handled, with Collins taking a confrontational approach to the former president.
Network CEO Chris Licht is now navigating a decades-old ship that lost to its historic rivals and ended what could have been a successful week below a relative cable news infant in Newsmax.
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