CNN suffered a humiliating ratings slump during Friday night’s prime time spot as it was beaten by fledgling rival Newsmax for the first time.
The cable channel was trounced by the conservative station in every slot from 8pm to 11pm. Star anchor Anderson Cooper mustered just 447,000 viewers for his flagship 360 show – 20,000 less than Eric Bolling, formerly of Fox News.
Cooper’s new Friday night show at 9pm, The Whole Story With Anderson Cooper, fell even wider of the mark with 293,000 tuning in. That compares to 325,000 who watched Chris Plante, an ex-Pentagon Correspondent for CNN, on Newsmax.
In the 10pm slot, Chris Wallace – the Democrat-voting former Fox host – managed just 263,000 viewers compared to Greg Kelly who secured an audience of 278,000.
CNN averaged 325,000 prime time viewers, while Newsmax netted an average of 357,000. The liberal news channel is now being thumped by a cable station which only started broadcasting in 2014. Meanwhile its old rival Fox hauled in an average of 1.44million prime time viewers and MSNBC netted 1.08million.
CNN averaged 325,000 prime time viewers on Friday night, while Newsmax netted an average of 357,000
The cable channel was trounced by the conservative station in every prime time slot from 8pm to 11pm. Star anchor Anderson Cooper mustered just 447,000 viewers for his flagship 360 show – 20,000 less than Eric Bolling, formerly of Fox News
In the 25-54 age demographic, which is important to networks for advertising revenue, CNN fared better but still lagged behind its major rivals.
Prime time viewing figures in this category were 7 percent higher than the prior four Fridays, while both Fox and MSNBC were down double digits, 29 percent and 18 percent respectively.
The Warner Bros Discovery-owned channel brought in 87,000 average viewers. Fox led with 109,000 viewers, MSNBC was in second with 98,000 and Newsmax trailed with 45,000.
After 9pm, no CNN show managed to breach the 300,000 viewer threshold.
Meanwhile Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Greg Gutfield all averaged at least 1.4million.
Gutfield won Fox its best ratings of the day with 1.7million viewers between 11pm and midnight for his self-titled comedic panel show.
Over on MSNBC the heaviest hitter of the day came well before prime time at 5pm with Ari Ambler’s The Beat on 1.4million viewers. Alex Wagner’s show at 9pm was its strongest prime time showing with an audience of 1.2million.
It comes after CNN saw its best viewing figures in years last week when it hosted Donald Trump’s town hall.
The channel had 3.3million viewers in his 8pm slot last Thursday. In the key demographic of 25-54, the ratings increased to 781,000 – five times the average.
The blockbuster ratings were what CNN boss Chris Licht, whose been tasked with turning the network around, was hoping for.
Until the departure of Tucker Carlson suddenly last month, 3million viewers was an ordinary nightly audience for Fox.
Ratings have dropped drastically in his absence.
The audience was double that of Fox and MSNBC in the same hour, and makes a mockery of the 473,000 average CNN pulled in in March this year
CNN boss Chris Licht took over last year and vowed to cleanse the network of its bias. He has been slammed for giving Trump a platform
But CNN staffers like media reporter Oliver Darcy despaired over Trump’s town hall, calling it a ‘spectacle of lies’ and fuming at Licht for the decision.
Some unnamed employees told outlets like Rolling Stone that it was a ‘f*****g disgrace’, so intense was their disgust with Licht and the decision.
Unaffected by their rage, Licht heaped praise on moderator Kaitlan Collins, and warned detractors: ‘You do not have to like the former president’s answers, but you can’t say that we didn’t get them.
‘While we all may have been uncomfortable hearing people clapping, that was also an important part of the story because the people in that audience represent a large swath of America.
‘The mistake the media made in the past is ignoring that those people exist just like you cannot ignore that President Trump exists.
‘I absolutely unequivocally believe America was served very well by what we did last night.’
Since last year, CNN’s ratings have plummeted. In March, viewership in primetime hours was down by 61 percent.
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