Throughout four years of the Trump administration, many in the mainstream media embraced their disdain for the president, leading to unprecedented ratings throughout much of the nonstop coverage.
While CNN enjoyed a spike in viewership from its anti-Trump audience, however, the most recent reports indicate a steep decline in its numbers.
Steep decline in coveted demo
According to the Washington Times, the network’s bad news comes after it had only recently become competitive with cable news leader Fox News, even beating its more conservative rival in various demographics and broadcasting slots.
CNN host Chris Cuomo, for example, saw his weeknight program Cuomo Prime Time, sustain a massive hit in the final week of last month.
More than half of the show’s viewers in the coveted 25-54 age demographic stopped tuning in during this period, impacting the advertising rates these numbers are used to determine.
As far as total audience numbers are concerned, the news was similarly bad for the network at the end of January. The network sunk 44% compared to the previous week in every prime-time slot.
Notably, this week of programming coincided with President Joe Biden’s first full week in office.
“A little bit more of a life span”
Variety pointed out the obvious in its report on the development, noting that without the ability to focus on negative stories about Trump, much of its core audience is beginning to lose interest in reports about the Biden administration. So far, boring seems to be the keyword in most of the mainstream media coverage of the White House in recent days.
Former Fox News Channel personality Megyn Kelly predicted in November that CNN and other networks would take a noticeable hit in the ratings if and when Trump left the White House.
“As long as he stays somewhat active, [corporate media will] have a little bit more of a life span,” she said at the time. “But their ratings are going to go down, I have very little doubt: Without Trump in the office every day, there’s no way, especially CNN and MSNBC, sustain the numbers they are getting.”
While her forecast has already started to come true, it appears that MSNBC has not seen the same rate of decline. Thus far, the network has seen less than a 20% drop in overall audience ratings.
Though the news for CNN is undoubtedly not what executives want to see, there might be a bright spot with a temporary surge in the ratings this month for an impeachment trial set to kick off next week.