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CNN Experiences Worst Ratings Weekend in History of Network

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


CNN’s troubles have gone from bad to worse, according to the most recent ratings period, which shows that the network suffered its biggest drop in viewers last weekend in the outlet’s history.

The decline is “another sign of the difficulties facing incoming boss Mark Thompson,” the New York Post reported.

The report noted: “The cable news network logged its worst weekend ratings on record in the all-important 25- to 54-year-old demo, according to the latest Nielsen data. CNN — which launched in 1980 and bills itself as ‘the most trusted name in news’ — totaled just 55,000 viewers for its weekend slate of shows that include Sunday political programs ‘State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash,’ and ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS.’ 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.”

The Post said that the dismal weekend showing is the worst for the network since 1991, the earliest point at which television viewership data is readily available.

The report said that CNN’s overall viewership was not a lot better, logging around 345,000 total viewers, well behind Fox News’ 683,000 and left-wing MSNBC’s 424,000.

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“Fox won the battle in the key demo as well, drawing 75,000 viewers to top MSNBC’s 47,000, which finished behind CNN,” The Post noted.

One insider told The Post: “CNN is a ratings embarrassment. At least with Thompson, they will have a direction.”

Thompson is the former CEO of The New York Times Company. He was picked to become CNN’s new chairman last month by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery after Chris Licht’s short-lived stint that industry insiders saw as a disaster.

He was let go in June after The Atlantic published a scathing profile that depicted him as paranoid and obsessed with his predecessor, Jeff Zucker.

Thompson’s tenure begins Oct. 9.

Under Licht, several hosts were let go, including Don Lemon and Brian Stelter, while others were reassigned or given their shows, like Kaitlin Collins, who took over a prime-time slot once held by Chris Cuomo. But that hasn’t gone well, either.

In August, for instance, weeks after her new show launched, CNN executives were already disappointed.

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“The latest reporting from inside CNN, the basement-rated fake news outlet that will almost certainly be sold for parts within the next few years, suggests that the outlet’s leadership is not pleased with Kaitlan Collins, nor with the ratings of ‘The Source,'” which is the name of her show, Breitbart News’ John Nolte wrote in a column.

Nolte was referencing a RadarOnline.com report which quoted network insiders who are saying that six weeks into her new gig, Collins isn’t resonating with viewers, and her show is getting dismal ratings — which mirrors most of CNN’s programming.

The RadarOnline report added:

In the latest development to come as the already struggling network continues to reel from Chris Licht’s departure from CNN in June, the network’s newest bosses reportedly questioned why Licht promoted Collins to the coveted 9 PM primetime timeslot.

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Other CNN insiders reportedly questioned how long Collins can remain in the 9 PM timeslot – particularly as the 31-year-old fledging star still struggles to grow her audience nearly two months into the new role.

“Kaitlin Collins will go down as Chris Licht’s original sin,” a veteran news source told Puck on Sunday. “She was the perfect high-visibility White House Correspondent for the Trump years and a rare American in coastal network media.”

“She is blameless. She was in the perfect job for her,” the industry insider noted further before pointing out how Licht allegedly was always “unable to recognize when an employee is doing what they were meant to do.”

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