CNN Continues Its Death Spiral as Ratings Collapse in Epic Fashion

CNN recently had Beto O’Rourke on for a town hall, otherwise known as a slobbering, in kind contribution. He was served up the normal platter of softball questions and fawning approval.


The problem for CNN (and Beto) though is that no one was watching.

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is not only starting to appear toward the bottom in the polls, but his Tuesday televised town hall with CNN now holds the distinction of being one of the lowest in ratings for the network.

O’Rourke’s CNN town hall averaged 714,000 total viewers and 194,000 in the 25-54 demo, which means it came in third for both categories during 10-11:15 p.m. EST, according to early Nielsen Media Research.

It’s hard to describe how awful getting only 194,000 in the key demo is. Reruns of “My 600lb Life” on TLC compete for more share of the market than that. The Food Network routinely beats that number in head to head comparisons. It’s objectively awful.

But CNN’s issues aren’t relegated to just Beto O’Rourke town halls. They are currently in the midst of a major ratings collapse that’s affecting all their programing. In fact, they’ve now hit lows in the key demo that they haven’t seen since 2015.


John Nolte shares the numbers. 

In total day viewers last week, CNN plummeted 34 percent; in prime time viewers, CNN dove 26 percent.

Again, for comparison sake, Fox News only lost three percent of its prime time viewers and ten percent of total day viewers.

The most humiliating number for the fake cable channel, though, is that throughout all of last week, CNN came in 16th and averaged only 693,000 total prime time viewers.

Right now, Fox News is doing nearly 4x the viewership during prime time that CNN is. While there’s also been a gulf, it’s been a long time since it’s been this wide.

It’s significant that CNN is dropping to 2015 lows because anyone that was in political media at the time (TV, blogging, etc.) knows that 2015 was quite the doldrum. While other outlets, including RedState, are booming today compared to 2015, CNN is slinking back into the bad old days.

All of this makes Brian Stelter’s continued sniping look extremely weak and impotent. He’s on a show that barely draws 200,000 total viewers and his network is in a death spiral. Yet, Stelter thinks bashing Fox News and promoting boycotts will earn CNN viewers. It hasn’t worked.


Viewers are not buying what they are selling. The constant conspiracy mongering, racial politics, and deranged ranting about Trump has grown old. There’s also the fact that CNN lies to its audience by labeling opinion hosts as unbiased anchors. People don’t like to be gaslit.

We are approaching the point where the majority of CNN’s viewership will be people sitting in airports that have no choice on what to watch. And it couldn’t have happened to a better network.


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