In early 2021, CNN was at the top of the world in cable news.
The network, which revolutionized round-the-clock coverage when it launched more than four decades ago, has finally reclaimed the ratings spot from Fox News and pushed its conservative rival down to third place for the first time since. since 2000.
Less than a year later, CNN’s viewership has dropped – the channel is buried in third place, behind Fox and MSNBC after a series of controversies and scandals have clearly dealt a major blow to the network’s credibility. ie.
In fact, just last week, the network averaged a tiny 585,000 total viewers during primetime, placing CNN back into 17th place among all basic cable channels. Worse still, the channel’s 120,000 viewers in primetime primetime demographics are only good enough for 31st place among cable broadcasters.
In other words, the future isn’t all bright for CNN heading into 2022 — and it’s unclear if it can do anything to distance itself from the crowd.
2020 is probably the biggest year ever for the cable news business. The world is suddenly hit by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic at the same time as a dramatic presidential election is underway. The seemingly endless stream of news was then curtailed by President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept defeat in his decisive election, leading to a climactic conclusion on January 6 with Trump’s incitement. an uprising in a desperate attempt to stay in power.
While 2020 has been overall the best year on record for CNN, it was the last quarter of that year and the first month of 2021 where the channel achieved a truly historic viewership.
In the final year of Trump’s presidency, CNN brought in an average of 1.79 million prime-time viewers (Monday-Sunday) and 522,000 prime-time viewers in its primary ad demographic. are viewers aged 25-54. The network’s total intraday rating in 2020 is 1.14 million viewers overall and 313,000 in demo 25-54.
CNN’s 2020 growth is explosive, especially compared to its two main rivals. For example, the network’s total audience for the day in the main rollout grew by 90%, compared with a 33% increase for MSNBC and 46% for Fox News. By prime time, CNN’s primary demographic viewership had grown by 102 percent, and its total viewership during those 8-11 p.m. hours was up 83 percent.
In Q4 2020 alone, CNN raked in an average total daily viewership of 1.48 million and 412,000 during the 25-54 demo. At prime time, the numbers skyrocketed to an average total audience of 2.37 million viewers and 710,000 in the primary advertising demographic. Compared to Q4 2019, CNN posted triple-digit growth across all relevant metrics, including a 176% increase in the prime hour demo.
And that’s all before the network’s biggest month in recent memory.
Of course, January 2021, which featured the one-two punch of the Capitol riots and then Joe Biden’s inauguration, offers a fascinating climax for followers of the Trump news cycle. lasts 5 years. While Fox News lagging behind CNN and MSNBC for the first time in more than two decades, when disgruntled Trump hardliners refused the network to accurately call the election results for Biden, CNN posted the historical ratings.
During that wild month, CNN averaged a total daily viewership of just 2 million, with more than half a million total daytime viewers in the main demo. At prime time, the network’s average audience for the month grew to 2.7 million viewers, with 795,000 people in the 25-54 demographic. Again, year over year, CNN posted a triple-digit gain in all of its key metrics. The growth is amazing.
And then the status quo came back in full swing.
Within a few months, Fox News quickly regained the top spot in cable news. And while the first three months of 2021 viewership looks good on paper for CNN (the network that leads all fundamental cables in many key metrics), writing is still on the wall. While viewership increased significantly from the first quarter of 2020, marking double-digit growth across the board, ratings have begun to dip from three months earlier.
By the second quarter, it was clear that viewers were no longer interested in and following cable news. CNN was hit the hardest. While All networks are affected In ratings, CNN has faced a seismic shift: The network saw a 53% drop in primetime viewership from the previous quarter and 49% year-over-year.
Finally, CNN fell out of the top five for all basic cable networks in prime time. In the third quarter of 2021, the average nightly viewership was 822,000 only good for eighth place and showed an additional loss of 10% from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, Fox News has grown 9% in both primetime and preview hour viewership since the second quarter.
CNN’s Quarterly Demo Rating Has Dropped smallest since 2014. The network experienced significant losses across the board, but the most severe was with viewers 55 and under.
And then CNN’s bottom fell in the fall.
October saw the network attract only an average daily audience of 487,000 and 661,000 during prime time. The demographic audience just exceeded 100,000, and CNN once again saw a monthly setback in viewership. The numbers weren’t any better in November, despite slight demographic growth compared to October – a small consolation.
And despite starting the year as the most-watched cable news network, CNN ended 2021 with just one show in the top 25 cable news picks: the 9 p.m. ET slot of ET. The network was, until recently, anchored by Chris Cuomo.
And even then, during the year, that hour averaged 1.3 million viewers, behind 13 Fox News shows and 11 MSNBC shows.
Over the past year, media analysts have blamed a relatively quiet Biden administration – compared with the unrelenting chaos of the Trump era – to the dramatic drop in cable news viewership. CNN in general is at its peak when it comes to major breaking news events, and casual viewers following the network are perhaps most synonymous with the genre.
But while calmer news cycles, Trump’s absence and a changing schedule could all explain why viewers are shutting down CNN in 2021, some media watchers argue that the spate of scandals. Discrediting the network may also play a role.
Once the leading hub of the network, Cuomo was fired by CNN earlier this month after months of controversy for privately advising his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, amid a career-ending sexual misconduct scandal. The situation became unresolvable for CNN after it was revealed that young Cuomo was using his media sources to dig up his brother’s accusations.
And Toobin, CNN’s chief legal analyst, was dropped from the late 2020 broadcast after express yourself in a Zoom call with colleagues. Although New Yorkers fired him after 27 years as his employee, CNN boss Jeff Zucker opted to give Toobin a second chance after an active lobbying campaign from friends — a move terrified some people on the net. Toobin has been on the air since June.
Parker Molloy, former editor-in-chief at freelance watchdog Media Matters now runs her own political and media newsletter, suggesting that both incidents degrade CNN’s credibility and perhaps ultimately a portion of CNN’s viewership.
“These are decisions I don’t understand and don’t really make sense as a news network. Credibility really has to be the most important thing that news channels put out that they stand behind,” she told The Daily Beast. “And when you have one of your prime-time hosts constantly stepping on the scratchers, like Cuomo did, and ignoring it every time, it’s like — there’s some risk. moral hazard.”
Poynter Senior Media Writer, Tom Jones However, seemingly disagreeing, told The Daily Beast that the incidents didn’t end up doing much damage to CNN’s reputation with viewers outside of the media bubble.
“I mean, the Cuomo thing, he crossed the line of morality,” Jones said. “But I think for a lot of people — not journalists — I’m not sure how big they think that line is or how bad it is.”
And there doesn’t appear to be a consensus on how CNN can re-engage its viewership, although analysts point out that the upcoming 2022 midterm election cycle will provide the network with a host of other major news events. In addition, CNN has made a concerted effort to move away from cable TV viewership as its main measure of success: the network has invested heavily in the soon-to-be-announced digital subscription service, which has a huge potential for success. name is CNN +, rented Famous talents like Chris Wallace from its cable rivals.
But media watchers like Molloy have also expressed concern that one way CNN could try to regain ratings is by making a subtle appeal to conservative viewers, who now consider the network too much of a stretch. liberal in its politics.
“They can let Trump host a show on CNN himself and they will insist that CNN is a ‘network of the left,’” Molloy quipped.
However, recent remarks by media mogul John Malone have been seen by some as hinting at a potential right turn. Malone is the chairman of Liberty Media, which owns SiriusXM and was a top shareholder in Discovery Inc., which earlier this year announced a major merger with CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia.
“In my opinion, Fox News has followed an interesting trajectory of trying to have News news, I mean some actual press, embedded in the program schedule of all comments,” Malone said in a CNBC interview about the merger last month. “And I think they’ve been relatively successful with a service like Bret Baier and Brit Hume before him, trying to distinguish news from opinion.”
He continued, raising an eyebrow at the cryptic suggestion that CNN doesn’t currently practice “true journalism” when compared to the openly conservative Fox News: “I’d like to see CNN evolve back into the kind of journalism that it’s not. it starts, and actually has journalists, will be very original and fresh… I believe good journalism can have a role in the future portfolio that Discovery-TimeWarner will represent.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/cnn-bottomed-out-in-2021-will-viewers-come-back?source=articles&via=rss CNN Bottom Out in 2021, will viewers come back?
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