UH-OH: Fox News Is #1, While 'CNN Just Suffered Its Worst Ratings Week in 9 Years'

January 31st, 2023 4:17 PM

TheWrap.com reported terrible ratings news under the headline "CNN Just Suffered Its Worst Ratings Week in 9 Years." Everyone knew that Trump losing in 2020 was going to be bad for CNN, but this bad? 

CNN cratered across all its day parts for the week of January 16-22. Nielsen found CNN averaging just 444,000 viewers in primetime, 93,000 in the all-important age 25-54 news demographic and 417,000 in viewers and 80,000 in the demo for total-day ratings. This marks the first time since May 2014 that the network failed to reach 450,000 viewers.

Then compare: In primetime, Fox News had 2 million viewers, 256,000 in the demo and MSNBC had 943,000 viewers and 91,000 in the demo. So Fox was approaching five times as many overall ewers, and CNN had more than twice as many. In total-day ratings, Fox News drew 1.4 million viewers and 176,000 in the demo while MSNBC notched 629,000 total viewers and 69,000 in the demo.

Don't tell Don Lemon, but CNN This Morning also suffered its worst number since its launch just three months ago. It averaged just 331,000 viewers. Fox & Friends drew nearly 1 million and Morning Joe had 760,000. There's trouble in Lemon-land! 

Insiders also told TheWrap that even hosts Lemon, Harlow and Collins “seem to be growing frustrated” over the direction.

“The show can’t decide strategically what exactly it is, so it’s trying to be everything, which can create whiplash for a viewer when segments seem off-brand in tonality,” one insider said. “The audience for morning news on network TV is different than the cable news audience and since we’re not gaining new viewers we definitely need to retain our legacy ones”

This is kinda funny after Stephen Battaglio of the Los Angeles Times gently questioned CNN CEO Chris Licht: 

BATTAGLIO: How do you assess the performance of CNN This Morning?

LICHT: Early days. It’s just finding its footing. 

What quickly comes to mind is Dana Carvey's impression of George H.W. Bush always suggesting Dan Quayle is "still gaining acceptance." The gossip site Radar is using anonymous sources that say amidst the ratings turmoil, "Don [Lemon] went into this thinking of himself as Beyoncé and his co-hosts as his backup dancers," but co-host Kaitlan Collins won't play "second fiddle" to Don. 

Meanwhile, Fox News Channel is boasting in a new press release that that FNC "finished January 2023 surpassing CNN and MSNBC with total day and primetime viewers and A25-54 for the 23rd consecutive month. FNC also notched 99 of the top 100 cable news telecasts for the month." On top of that "The Five continued to make history, marking ten consecutive months as the most-watched program in cable news, while Tucker Carlson Tonight led cable news in the younger 25-54 demo."

They added "CNN’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? saw its lowest-rated month since launch with total viewers as the show begins its second season seeing double-digit declines on Sunday at 7 PM/ET."