CNN ratings continue to tank as boss Chris Licht revamps network

CNN continues to hemorrhage viewers as new cable information boss Chris Licht scrambles to remake the primetime and morning lineups in an effort to reorient the channel towards extra centrist reporting.

The embattled cable community has fallen even additional behind perennial chief Fox Information and the marginally revamped MSNBC, in accordance with the most recent scores.

“CNN is in a nasty place. The scores are down actually dramatically yr over yr,” mentioned one seasoned media exec. “I’m undecided the corporate understands how exhausting it’s [to dig out].”

“The turnaround that he needed to do was fairly unbelievable,” added a CNN insider.

Although Licht “is aware of what he’s doing,” the supply mentioned that the previous government producer of CBS’s “The Late Present with Stephen Colbert” and “CBS This Morning” has his “work lower out for him.”

Fox Information’ Tucker Carlson reeled within the highest cable information primetime scores in August.
Getty Photos for Politicon

In August, Fox Information dominated with 9 reveals making the highest 10 highest-rated cable information reveals. Solely MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow eked out a fifth-place rating with 2.7 million viewers, lagging behind Fox’s “The 5” (3.4 million), “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (3.3 million), “Hannity” (2.9 million) and “Jesse Watters Primetime” (2.9 million).

The one CNN present to crack the highest 25 was “Anderson Cooper 360” — in twenty fifth place with 950,000 viewers.

Considered one of Licht’s massive duties is to call a number for the 9 p.m. hour, which was held by Chris Cuomo earlier than he was ousted final yr over his position in advising his older brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his intercourse harassment scandal.

Rachel Maddow
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow eked out a fourth-place rating with 2.7 million viewers in August, trailing three Fox Information reveals.
NBCUniversal by way of Getty Photos

CNN has as a substitute been operating rotating hosts, subbing within the likes of Cooper, who has prolonged his 8 p.m. present an additional hour, and Don Lemon, the community’s 10 p.m. host.

Lemon particularly has taken a beating within the scores. His “Don Lemon Tonight” was the lowest-ranked present in primetime in August, averaging 660,000 viewers.

A CNN supply informed The Publish there aren’t any plans to do away with Lemon, regardless of rumors about his future within the time slot.

CNN’s Kasie Hunt, who was poached from NBC Information and MSNBC final yr, started internet hosting the 9 p.m. slot this week. Though Hunt has stuffed in earlier than, insiders buzzed that this could possibly be a tryout for the 37-year-old anchor because the strain mounts on Licht to fill the spot. She may be a contender for different prime-time spots that open, they mentioned.

CNN didn’t remark.

CNN's Don Lemon
CNN host Don Lemon has been rumored to be in bother amid tanking scores, however CNN insiders say the anchor’s future is safe on the cable information community.
Getty Photos

CNN’s decline has been exacerbated by MSNBC’s addition of Alex Wagner, who has slipped into the 9 p.m. hour Tuesday by way of Friday,.

Wagner, Rachel Maddow’s four-days-a-week substitute, debuted with 2 million viewers on Aug. 16. Her scores have slipped from between 1.3 million and 1.7 million viewers, however on any given evening, the anchor is crushing CNN. In August, CNN’s 9 p.m. present, “CNN Tonight,” averaged simply 726,000 whole viewers.

Licht is working to undo the opinion-centric reporting that was inspired underneath his predecessor, Jeff Zucker. Zucker resigned in February, citing a romantic relationship with a colleague.

Akex Wagner
Alex Wagner’s primetime present on MSNBC, which debuted with 2 million viewers, has maintained a robust lead over CNN.
Getty Photos

The brand new CNN honcho has already ousted a number of the community’s voices most crucial of former President Donald Trump. The record contains media reporter Brian Stelter, whose present “Dependable Sources” was canceled final month, in addition to authorized analyst Jeffrey Toobin and political correspondent John Harwood.

On Tuesday, Licht added two on-air hires to bolster the community’s protection. He tapped John Miller as CNN’s chief legislation enforcement and intelligence analyst. Miller most lately served because the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism.

Previous to that, he labored as a correspondent for CBS Information and ABC Information, the place he landed a uncommon interview with Osama bin Laden in 1998.

Licht additionally poached Dr. Tara Narula from CBS Information as a medical correspondent for the community.

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