The ultimate goal of any cable news network is to bring in more viewers to their channel and readers to their website, and that requires generating the type of interesting content that will draw people to your product and keep them coming back for more.
But as it turns out, CNN’s relentless focus on Carlson and Fox is not the ratings draw they’d hoped it would be. Post-Trump presidency, CNN’s ratings have reached basement levels, with their media hall monitor Brian Stelter’s Sunday “Reliable Sources” program being among the least-watched shows on the struggling network.
Not only is Stelter’s program tanking, but first-week book sales on the re-release of his book “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth” were, to put it mildly, pretty flaccid, as my colleague Nick Arama reported yesterday. Just to give you an idea:
Probably about 1500 of the 1700 sold of Stelter’s book were purchased by CNN. 😉 https://t.co/HMqxbCpV0o
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) June 24, 2021
And though CNN and Stelter spend a lot more time analyzing Fox News coverage than Fox News does their coverage, Carlson did a short segment on Thursday night dunking all over Stelter on the news of his poor book sales.
“What if your TV show was tanking and you’d lost more than half your viewers since January?” Carlson asked. “Do you think that would be exactly the moment to re-release your book on the basis of evidence that people love you so much they’re going to buy it? Probably not.”
“But,” he continued, “if you work at CNN, you’re a squeaky little guy who hosts a media show on CNN, you might just try it, and if you did, what would happen?”
“Well, you might sell just 2,000 copies in the entire first week,” Carlson pointed out. “That book currently ranks 4,007 on the bestseller list. There are many ‘how-to’ manuals having to do with HVAC or hanging drywall or insulation that are outselling that book.”
Saying he didn’t want to sound “mean to be mean or anything,” Carlson advised that “if all signs point to one conclusion, get out of media. Immediately. Get out of media. Maybe it’s time to get out of media.”
As of this writing, Stelter hasn’t responded to Carlson’s jabs about his flat first-week sales – he’s still promoting his book on his Twitter feed, which if he’s lucky might get about 5 or 10 more people to buy his book this week, with most probably being from CNN employees and their family members, I suspect.
Bless his heart.