Morgan, Cooper Drag CNN to Lowest Weekday Prime-Time Ratings in 20 Years

If it weren't for bad luck, CNN would have no luck at all.

During the week of May14-18, the network drew its lowest-rated weekday prime-time ratings in two decades, in terms of total viewers.

According to an article written by Nellie Andreeva on the Website, CNN averaged 395,000 viewers viewers during its 8-11 p.m. block, which includes Piers Morgan Tonight and Anderson Cooper 360.

The seven days of last week was the third-lowest-rated full week in prime time since March 1997.

In addition, last Monday through Friday was also the network’s fourth-lowest-rated prime-time weekday slate among adults in the important 25-54 age demographic, with CNN scoring just 111,000 of those viewers.

CNN’s previous worst weekly weekday prime time among adults 25-54 was May 15-21, 2000, when the network recorded 91,000 viewers among adults in this demographic.

Also, four of CNN's 10 weakest weeks of the past 20 years have fallen in 2012. In that demographic, it isn't faring quite as poorly, with just two weeks of the year in its bottom 10.

As NewsBusters previously reported, the 9 p.m. edition of Piers Morgan Tonight on Tuesday, May 16, drew an audience of only 39,000 viewers in that age demographic, the lowest since August 2001.

And in April, CNN posted its lowest ratings in 10 years, leading Huffington Post writers Jason Linkins and Elyse Siegel to declare that “CNN is terrible. A God-awful, wall-to-wall, epic mess.”

That Newsbusters blog referred to a New York Times article by Brian Stelter, who stated that “people tune in to CNN, the same way they hurry to a hospital when they think they are having a heart attack.”

Nevertheless, Stelter found a slim silver lining to the cable news network's predicament:

CNN, with its vast news-gathering resources and a heap of international channels, is set to make nearly $600 million in operating profit this year, a record high, for its parent company, Time Warner.

But to put things in perspective, during that week of May 14-18, Fox News averaged 2,049,000 viewers in its prime-time weekday period, while MSNBC averaged 783,000.

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