A new study shows that, to no real benefit, CNN chief Jeff Zucker has spent a ton of money on new programming, and every bit of whatever remaining reputation CNN had as an objective news outlet, to revamp the failing cable news network. The study by the Pew Research Center shows that when compared to last year, CNN lost a whopping -9% of its primetime audience, while profits dipped -5%.
MSNBC, which is in freefall, only lost -8% of primetime viewers. Fox remained steady with only a -1% loss.
In prime time – the premier time slot for advertisers – combined median viewership was down for these three news channels by 8% to 2.8 million. Fox News remained relatively steady, losing only 1% of its viewership with 1.7 million watching nightly. But CNN (down 9% to 495,000 viewers) and MSNBC (down 8% to 568,000) struggled.
Yes, you read that correctly, The MSNBC Titanic is averaging more primetime viewers than CNN.
CNN is doing somewhat better in the areas the left-wing network selectively champions, but Zucker’s spending spree and move to the far-left is losing ground where it most counts: profit, primetime eyeballs, and therefore impact.
Despite all the upheaval and promotion, revenue-wise CNN is up only +3%. That’s only a little better than MSNBC, which dropped -1%. Fox News is up +6% and bringing in almost twice the revenue CNN does: $2.04 billion compared to $1.13 billion. MSNBC sits at just $501 million.
While CNN is shedding primetime viewers, the left-wing network has managed to improve the number of its viewers in the advertiser-friendly age demo. This has meant an increase in advertising revenue of +6% to $339 million, which is still less than half of Fox News’s $794 million, after a +2% bump over last year.
As far as the bottom line — profit — CNN is projected to dip a full -5%, earning $327 million. If these projections hold true, Fox News will nearly quadruple CNN with $1.2 billion in profit after a whopping +10% jump. Despite its problems, MSNBC still made a $221 million profit after a -5% decline.
Despite the obvious writing on the wall, Zucker is choosing to lose profits and viewers by moving his network to the far-left.
The full report is here.
Pew’s revenue numbers are based on projections.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC