By Jon Dougherty
There’s really only one word to describe what has happened to viewership at flagship cable news channel CNN and its big sis MSNBC over the past month: Collapse.
According to Nielsen Media Research, CNN‘s viewership tanked a whopping 26 percent in April, a dip tied inextricably to the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in which he officially cleared POTUS Donald Trump of “colluding” with Russia to “steal” the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton.
Mueller also did not recommend charging the president with obstruction of justice because he also could not find any evidence for that, as well.
Meanwhile, MSNBC‘s ratings have also tanked, down 14 percent in April 2019 compared to April 2018. Fox News‘ viewership was flat.
As for CNN, April was its lowest month for viewers since October 2015, according to Nielsen.
The Hill has more:
In the 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers covet most, it was the network’s least-watched month since Aug. 2015.
In prime time, Fox News finished first with an average of 2.4 million viewers. In April 2018, the network also averaged 2.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
MSNBC was second with an average of 1.66 million viewers, down from 1.93 million in April 2018.
CNN was third with 767,000 average primetime viewers, down from 1.04 million in April 2018.
In the 25–54 demographic, all three networks saw a decline.
Fox News delivered 389,000 viewers, followed by MSNBC’s 255,000 and CNN’s 198,000 viewers in the category.
This compared to 483,000 for Fox, 398,000 for MSNBC and 336,000 for CNN in April 2018.
Fox News retained four of the five top-rated prime-time shows: “Fox’s ‘Hannity” with an average of 3.086 million viewers, followed by ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ with an average of 2.834 million. MSNBC’s ‘Rachel Maddow Show’ was third with 2.630 million viewers, followed by Fox’s ‘The Ingraham Angle’ with 2.455 million viewers and ‘The Five’ with 2.4 million in rounding out the Top-5.”
We can deduce a couple of things from these figures:
— CNN is no bargain for advertisers; with these figures, it’s a wonder the network can even attract enough revenue to keep the lights on. The network’s saving grace is its web properties, which attract well over 500 million visitors per month.
— Fox News is the better bargain for advertisers, with millions more viewers and an estimated 375 million visitors per month.
— Americans are simply tired of the Russian collusion hoax.
As for the viewers CNN and MSNBC have lost, they can blame their willingness to perpetuate the collusion hoax. And in the news biz, if you live by the lie, you’re going to die by it.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10