Cable News Network (CNN), the left-leaning American mainstream media outlet, is haemorrhaging viewership after Joe Biden’s inauguration as the U.S. President. The legacy media outlet slumped to a loss of almost 50% viewership in the key demographics, with CNN losing 47% viewership in 24-54 age demographic. The 24-54 age demographic is widely considered to be a key age group in terms of TV ratings. CNN has also lost a million viewers per night on average since the Biden inauguration on January 20th.
According to Nielsen data, CNN averaged around 2.5 million prime-time viewers from November 4th to January 20th. Prime-time viewers can be understood to be CNN viewers who watch the outlet during the prime-time slots of 8 PM to 11 PM Eastern Standard Time. After January 20th, this prime-time viewership of CNN, which averaged around 2.5 million, crashed down to 1.6 million prime-time viewers. This loss in prime-time viewership amounts to a drop off of 36%. This 1.6 million figure is the average of prime-time CNN viewership from January 21 through to March 15.
However, in the key demographic age group of 24-54, CNN’s prime-time viewership suffered a precipitous loss of 47% from January 21 to March 15. CNN’s daytime viewership also suffered similar viewership losses, with the average of CNN daytime viewership suffering a 34% decline from 1.7 million average daytime viewers to 1.1 million average viewers.
Daytime viewership for CNN in the key demographic age group of 24-54 in terms of daytime viewers fell 44% from an average of 4,83,000 to only 2,72,000. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media and Telecom Conference on March 5, the CEO of WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, Jason Kilar, said that CNN was ‘killing it’ in terms of ratings because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“It turns out the pandemic is a pretty big part of the news cycle and that’s not going away any time soon. If you take a look at the ratings and the performance, it’s going well. I think it’s going well because A. the team at CNN is doing a fantastic job and B. it turns out the pandemic and the way that we can inform and help contextualize the business is really good for ratings.” CEO Jason Kilar said during the conference.
Jason Kilar further went on eulogizing the supposed success of CNN, “Anyone that is paying attention to the news business through linear television, CNN is killing it. They’re the number one cable news network now and have been since the election.”