CNN's Ratings Enter Smoking Crater Territory

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

While CNN’s potato squad obsesses over every move Fox News makes, the latest ratings suggest they might want to spend a little more time worrying about their own network. Things aren’t just bad — they are reaching smoking crater territory.

Last Friday, not a single CNN program broke 900,000 viewers and the primetime lineup got absolutely crushed.

The average in January is a bit misleading as CNN’s left-wing viewer base was really jazzed about Biden’s election at that point. Still, the current ratings are just terrible. You have a major cable news network, one which claims to be “better” than the others out there, just getting crushed across the board. Neil Cavuto’s mid-afternoon show, already a ratings dumpster for Fox News, is beating every single CNN primetime shown. Greg Gutfeld is more than doubling up Don Lemon despite the fact that Gutfeld’s show is supposedly more niche, being a comedic exercise. Jake Tapper, for all the insistence of what a great newsman he is, comes nowhere close to competing in either of his timeslots.

When you factor in the key demo numbers, things are even worse for CNN. They have no audience to speak of in comparison to the amount of investment they put out and their already existent name ID. When you are getting spanked by Joy Reid’s conspiracy-laden rantings, maybe it’s time to change course?

I can’t imagine Jeff Zucker is long for his job with this kind of downfall, though, CNN as a network has shown itself to be stubborn. They’ve refused to correct the issues that have led to them being the least-watched major cable news network on TV.  That used to be explained away as a function of CNN being too middle of the road, but their current lineup makes MSNBC blush when it comes to partisan bias. Perhaps their hosts just stink at their jobs?

CNN had a chance to reset after Joe Biden’s election. Instead, they leaned more into their hostile partisanship. That’s not paying dividends. It’s at the point where they should probably install a gift shop for the onlookers. Maybe they can make ends meet that way.