CNN Hits 20-Year Ratings Low

CNN Hits 20-Year Ratings Low

When you think of all the work CNN put into hyping Anderson Cooper, this has to be, especially during an election year, a huge disappointment.

As far as Piers Morgan, somewhere Larry King is feeling awfully smug.


Final numbers give the network’s Monday-Friday showing, between 8 and 11 p.m., its smallest take among total viewers in two decades. CNN’s ratings woes continue to get worse.

Following last week’s news of a 15-year primetime low during Piers Morgan, final Nielsen ratings give the network its lowest-rated weekday primetime showing among total viewers in more than 20 years.

The network averaged just 395,000 viewers in P2+ during the 8-11 p.m. block between May 14 and May 18, dipping below the previous low (over the 2010 Christmas holiday) by nearly 20,000 viewers. Programming in that block, Anderson Cooper‘s AC360 and Piers Morgan Tonight, didn’t fare much better among the targeted adults 25-54.

TV By the Numbers add more context:

More CNN ratings milestones last week (or millstones, as the case may be) (these rankings since 3/31/97):

  • 4th lowest weekday average for the news target adults 25-54 demo (111,000)
  • 3rd lowest full week (Mon-Sun) primetime viewership (385,000)
  • 4th lowest full week adults 25-54 demo (104,000)

Those of us who love our country and understand that biased media outlets disguising themselves as objective in order to push a left-wing agenda are a threat to democracy, have every right to celebrate every victory that undermines their impact and credibility.

CNN’s John King commented on the ratings, proving he doesn’t get it:

[MSNBC’s Chris] Matthews argued that seasoned opinion journalism is proper while King said CNN is trying to “be in the middle and have all sides.” He then said that Matthews and MSNBC are “left, and far left,” prompting Matthews to say, “that is not true.” King responded, “how is it not true?” It ended up with King taking a shot at “advocacy” journalism versus CNN’s “more objective style,” though he conceded that MSNBC’s is a good business model.

MSNBC is far left, but at least the network doesn’t insult their audience by trying to hide it. CNN, however, hides their left-wing agenda behind an intelligence-insulting, somewhat smug and always maddening veil of middle-of-the-road. We have options now and no longer have to put up with being lied to, so we don’t.

This is an election year, a very important election year, and the less muscle CNN enjoys the better.

As I’ve said before, inevitably, every single one of these dishonest media outlets will face the same choice: go out of business or do the job honestly.

I couldn’t care less which choice they make. I’m too busy enjoying a reckoning I’ve waited two decades for.

ADDED: Someone asked me how CNN can stay in business with such bad ratings. Well, in the exact same way a lot of low-rated cable stations stay in business: the evil that is bundled cable. You may not watch CNN, but if the outlet’s available on your cable package, chances are you are helping to keep them in business. Most cable stations, and I would guess CNN is among them, receive money based on how many subscribers purchase packages that include their network. 

Bundled cable is one of the greatest rackets in the history of entertainment. Hopefully, the miracle of streaming will end this con as people leave cable and as a result stop supplementing outlets like CNN that would be in a lot more trouble surviving on advertising alone.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.