CNN is dying, and the cable network’s newly-installed chief can’t save it. Last week, during all kinds of big news about ObamaCare and the shooting at LAX, the former-most trusted name in news averaged only 385,000 total viewers and a measly 95,000 in the all-important 25-54 demo. The Hollywood Reporter notes that this is CNN’s worst showing “since the 20-year record lows last August” and “the lowest-rated week since Jeff Zucker took the reins.”
Easily topping all other networks for the week, FNC averaged 2.367 million viewers during the 8-11 p.m. primetime block. And in the targeted adults demographic, FNC’s 377,000 viewers nearly outrated CNN’s entire audience.
MSNBC, coming in second place for the week, averaged 683,000 viewers and 150,000 adults 25-54.
CNN’s left-wing bias hasn’t improved under Zucker, but other than “Jake Tapper’s The Lead,” the programming has worsened considerably. There has been sharp turn away from hard news and towards shallow, tabloid-style reporting, and all kinds of stories that feel like they belong in the last five minutes of your local newscast.
CNN’s plan is probably to move away from being informative and towards interesting and entertaining. Except it is not entertaining or interesting, at least not in a world filled with 200 other cable channels that are much more savvy at that kind of thing.
CNN’s morning show, “New Day,” a Zucker pet-project, is an unmitigated disaster. Chris Cuomo does his best, but the structure is as messy as the set, and the litany of punishing nothingburger stories encourages you to tune out, not in.
As always, though, CNN’s biggest problem is its stable of off-putting hosts, starting with Carol Costello, Ashleigh Banfield, Don Lemon, Wolf Blitzer, and of course Piers Morgan.
The only improvement CNN has shown in the last 6 months has come from Erin Burnett, who has done some excellent reporting on Benghazi and ObamaCare.
For those of you who are going to accuse me of unfairly bashing CNN for political reasons, let me just say that the even further left MSNBC is a very well produced cable network with as many appealing hosts as CNN has unappealing hosts. CNN is a lousy network. That is a fact, not bias.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC