I Wonder Why? First-Quarter Ratings Tank at CNN, ESPN for Q1 2018 vs. 2017

In early March, Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted that CNN's February audience fell by 19 percent from February 2017.

Full first-quarter cable TV ratings released this week show serious year-over-year declines not only at CNN, but also at ESPN, which has continued to push politically correct causes. Perhaps CNN's Jeffrey Tucker should consider the shortcomings in his network's programming instead of immaturely tagging Fox News, which remained in first place by a significant margin, as "state-run TV."

Here's a comparison of 1Q18 and 1Q17 at the networks:


What follows is a very small sample of CNN items which turned off fair-minded viewers during the quarter (dates are of related NewsBusters posts):

  • January 4 — Spending 20 minutes speculating whether President Donald Trump is mentally ill (with more on January 7, January 16, and January 17).
  • January 15 — 195 uses of the term "sh**hole" in one day.
  • January 30 — Speculating that First Lady Melania Trump wore white to the State of the Union address to protest her husband's behavior.
  • February 22 — Tracking down and harassing an elderly woman for being "influenced by Russian trolls" — when CNN itself covered a Russian-orchestrated anti-Trump rally in 2016.
  • March 8 — Spending 149 minutes in one night of primetime on Stormy Daniels' alleged decade-ago affair with Trump (also, on March 12, spending 41 minutes "recapping her strip club show").
  • March 31 — Jeffrey Toobin calls credible accusations of misconduct against FBI officials "lunatic conspiracy theories."

There isn't space to cite all items associated with CNN's Trump-Russia obsession, its constant unsupported allegations of racism directed at the President, or the non-stop buffoonery of White House correspondent Jim Acosta.

The network has continued its errant ways into April's first week, which won't help its second-quarter ratings:

  • April 3 — Acosta shouts out DACA-related questions ... at the White House Easter Egg Roll.
  • April 3 — Spending 76 minutes bashing local news provider Sinclair Broadcasting as "state-run TV."

All of this explains why CNN was named the "most polarizing media brand" in January.

As for ESPN, Clay Travis at Outkick the Coverage noted on Tuesday that its second quarter began with a very expensive ratings bomb:

ESPN’s AM WokeCenter (SportsCenter) Debuts To Worst Ratings Ever

Yesterday ESPN debuted a brand new insanely expensive new WokeCenter AM show starring Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle and Jalen Rose. That trio of talent will be making just shy of $15 million a year and ESPN also poured tens of millions of dollars into their brand new studio as well.

As if that weren’t enough ESPN also spent millions and millions of dollars promoting the new show ...

And, well, the show’s officially already (a) ratings disaster.

... It had only 283k viewers, which, I believe, makes it the lowest debut for a new ESPN show in the 21st century.

In a Thursday follow-up, Travis wrote that this result has "set off panic" at ESPN headquarters. Maybe the panic will cause the "woke" network to genuinely wake up.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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