CNN Primetime Viewership Plummets to Three-Decade Low Among Coveted Demographic

Rating comes as liberal news outlet struggles with on-air drama

Don Lemon / Youtube Screenshot
March 22, 2023

CNN's primetime viewership among the 25 to 54 age demographic hit a three-decade low, a rating that marks just the latest stumble for the struggling liberal news outlet.

Among the desired demographic, CNN pulled just 84,000 average viewers in the primetime slot last week—the lowest total in more than 30 years. Fox News and MSNBC averaged 219,000 and 100,000, respectively.

Including all age demographics, Fox News beats CNN by more than 1.6 million viewers in primetime.

The poor ratings come as CEO Chris Licht tries to switch up CNN’s primetime lineup. The channel is looking to prioritize exclusive interviews and special content to boost views, such as interviews with world leaders and documentaries on the fentanyl crisis, according to the New York Times, marking a significant departure from the network's lineup of liberal commentary shows.

On March 6, an afternoon showing of Ancient Aliens on the History Channel pulled more viewers than a primetime interview with first lady Jill Biden on CNN.

The ratings don’t improve for daytime programming, where Fox News pulled 150,000 viewers in the key demographic to just 80,000 for CNN, which has faced drama among morning show hosts in recent months. The network pulled Don Lemon from CNN This Morning last month to give the anchor training after he made sexist remarks about presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

The comments upset his cohosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins, whom Lemon got into a screaming altercation with in December. Collins has since ditched the agent she shared with Lemon.

Published under: CNN