CNN’s Trump surge quickly came to an abrupt end.
The under-rated cable news channel drew an average of just 335,000 viewers during its three-hour prime time slot on Friday, putting it behind not only Fox and MSNBC but also fringe newscaster Newsmax.
The sad numbers came two days after CNN garnered its highest ratings in two years at its controversial town hall with former President Donald Trump.
However, the fact that the Republican, as a lightning rod, was given a forum to repeat his conspiracy theories – including his claim that the 2020 election was “rigged” – prompted internal outcry and an apparent backlash from his traditional left-wing audience base.
Anderson Cooper, the network’s most-watched host, went on the air Thursday and told his angry viewers they had every right to never watch CNN again.
It seemed as if many of them accepted the offer.
The Friday 8 p.m. edition of Cooper-hosted show AC360 drew 447,000 viewers, well below its usual average.
Ratings continued to deteriorate throughout the night, with just 293,000 tuning in to “Whole Story with Anderson” at 9 p.m. and 263,000 tuning in to “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” — the lowest ratings since the show began on CNN in September. accordingly according to Mediaite.
CNN’s rival Fox News won the prime-time battle, averaging 1.44 million viewers, while MSNBC hit 1.08 million.
Right-wing broadcaster Newsmax, which launched in 2014, more than three decades after CNN was founded, averaged 357,000 prime-time viewers.
CNN didn’t fare much better in advertisers’ key 25-54 demographic, attracting 87,000 viewers — compared to Fox’s 109,000 and MSNBC’s 98,000.
It managed to surpass Newsmax, which hit 45,000 in the demo.
CNN’s decline in ratings highlights the challenge for CEO Chris Licht, who is looking to transform the news channel after being hired by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery for the job more than a year ago.
The Town Hall with Trump on May 10 drew 3.3 million viewers but saw ratings plummeting for months.
In March, CNN reported a sharp 61% drop in viewership — the sharpest among the big three cable news giants.
CNN also ended April on a negative note — the same month, Licht celebrated its one-year anniversary as CEO and fired longtime host Don Lemon for misogynistic comments on the show.