CNN, the once trusted worldwide leader in news, is little more than a hollowed-out husk of its former self. The network, launched in 1980, billed itself as “the most trusted name in news” and changed the way Americans watched the news. Previously, folks got news only two or three times a day, depending on where you lived, and options were limited to whatever network you could tune into.
With the advent of cable television, viewers were suddenly able to watch whatever, whenever they wanted, and 24-hour news was born. CNN was the pioneer of the format, and an industry was created.
However, times have certainly changed, and the once respected network has devolved into a left-wing mouthpiece for the democrat party. Viewers have noticed, and the ratings reflect it.
The network recently hit rock bottom with their ratings, as they await incoming boss Mark Thompson, who is replacing the fired Chris Licht. In the interim, a four-person committee has been running the network, apparently not well considering the ratings numbers.
The most recent weekend slate of shows, including political programs “State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash,” and “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” totaled only 55,000 viewers. The network’s Sunday primetime lineup, which featured “The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” drew 43,000 in the demo.
Those numbers aren’t just bad; they are historically bad for CNN. In fact, since data started being collected in 1991, it is the worst performance in the history of the network with the vital 25 to 54 demographic. The overall viewership for CNN isn’t much better.
The network attracted 345,000 viewers, trailing Fox and lowly-rated MSNBC. Fox also dominated in the key demographics as well, finishing second behind Fox. Concerns inside the industry are being voiced, as one insider said of CNN: “CNN is a ratings embarrassment. “At least with Thompson they will have a direction.”
It is unclear which direction Thompson will lead the network. Licht was tasked with returning the network to a more centrist approach after the hard-left it took during the Donald Trump presidency. Licht gutted the on-air talent, firing Don Lemon and shuffling hosts in a desperate effort to convince viewers they were presenting actual news.
The efforts largely failed. The network has likely lost conservative viewers forever and further angered liberals by giving GOP front-runner President Trump a platform with their Republican Town Hall broadcast. Ironically the Town Hall actually garnered good ratings not seen since the Tump presidency.
The network’s gaffes are impressive. From Don Lemon and Brian Stelter to the utter failure of CNN-Plus, the digital streaming service no one asked for or wanted, the once formidable news giant continues to shoot itself in the foot.
New boss Thompson, who once managed the BBC as its director general, has a tough ask on his plate. If he can restore the public’s trust in the network, will conservatives ever come back? Considering CNN spent more than four years bashing Donald Trump and pushing misinformation, it’s unlikely.
It’s also unlikely that whatever is left of their liberal fanbase will stick around, either. In the end, it might be too late for the network, and they only have themselves to blame.