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CNN Primetime Ratings Down 49% Since Trump Left Office

Atlanta, GA – CNN’s ratings have tanked since former President Donald Trump left office and the network lost almost a million primetime viewers between January and March.

Nielsen Media research data showed an average of 2.5 million primetime viewers tuned in to CNN from Nov. 4, 2020 through Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, FOX News reported.

But viewership for the cable news network tanked the day after President Joe Biden took office.

Between Jan. 21 and March 15, CNN averaged only 1.6 million viewers during the primetime slot, FOX News reported.

That means CNN viewership dropped 36 percent between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

For adults between the ages of 25 and 54 – the key demographic – CNN viewership tanked 47 percent during the same time period, FOX News reported.

The network also lost 44 percent of its total day viewers in that key demographic between Nov. 4, 2020 and Jan. 20 and fell from an average of 483,000 to just 272,000.

FOX News said the ratings slump supported Ted Koppel’s 2018 assertion to CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter that “CNN’s ratings would be in the toilet without Donald Trump.”

CNN’s rating slump looked even worse when the weeks immediately following Election Day are taken out of the data mix.

From Dec. 28, 2020 through Jan 20, CNN averaged 3.1 million primetime viewers, FOX News reported.

But then that number dropped 49 percent to 1.6 million from Inauguration Day to the present.

As for the key demographic of viewers ages 25 to 54, Nielsen Media data showed CNN lost a monumental 58 percent of its viewers in the same time period.

The network has also lost almost half of its total day audience, too, FOX News reported.

According to Nielsen Media research, CNN averaged 2.2 million total day viewers from Dec. 28, 2020 through Jan. 20, owing largely to viewers who flocked to the network for coverage of the Capitol riot.

CNN has said that Jan. 6 was the network’s most-watched day in history, Forbes reported.

However, Nielsen Media data showed the network has averaged only 1.1 million viewers since Jan. 20, a 48 percent decrease in total day viewership since President Trump left office, FOX News reported.

FOX News beat CNN and MSNBC in the ratings to retake the top spot as the most-watched cable news network in March, Forbes reported.

Nielsen Media data released Tuesday showed FOX News averaged almost 1.3 million total viewers across the entire day in March.

That was about 250,000 more viewers than MSNBC had, and 460,000 more than CNN had.

It was a big change from the ratings nosedive FOX News took after Election Day when many viewers became angry about the more-conservative network’s election and post-election coverage, Forbes reported.

Nielsen Media data showed all three networks have lost viewers since March of 2020.

FOX News’ total-day viewership plummeted 40 percent, CNN’s fell 32 percent, and MSNBC’s shrank by 19 percent over the past 12 months, Forbes reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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