These are troubled times for CNN, which likes to bill itself as the most trusted name in news. It is also barely watched, as the most recent numbers show, and the slide is even steeper for a former network star.
Don Lemon made a name for himself with his 24/7 barrage of criticism of former President Donald Trump. Ratings were robust, at least by CNN’s standards, and liberals lapped up his demagoguery.
Sour ratings: @DonLemon's morning show on @CNN has worst week since launch https://t.co/NcQAlPnQpz
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 26, 2023
But then the network lost its boogeyman and ran out of steam. Despite highly publicized tweaks, CNN still bears a strong anti-conservative narrative that is apparent to even the most casual viewer. One of those tweaks was demoting Lemon from prime time to the mornings.
Of course, Lemon resisted the “demoted” label, but that is still the harsh reality. His attempt to pass off the downward move as a “promotion” came across as self-serving and delusional.
At the time, Lemon announced on-air that he’d been given an opportunity that he could not refuse. He said his new boss “wants a morning show that will kick off the editorial direction of the network every single day, and I’m honored that he asked me to do it.”
Fair enough. So, how is that “promotion” coming along?
Lemon’s project, “CNN This Morning,” is hardly a blip in the ratings war. Since its 2022 launch, the program has struggled to gain any traction with viewers and is being swamped by its much more powerful competition, Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
In fact, the plunge is so steep that CNN This Morning just registered its lowest-rated week in its existence.
For the same period that “Fox and Friends” averaged a whopping 1.3 million viewers, Don Lemon and “CNN This Morning” scraped together only 331,000 watchers.
Even more troubling for the new network bosses are the numbers pulled in by the key 25-54 demographic. That’s the age group that advertisers prefer to market their wares to, so it’s the prime audience that networks need to attract.
For Mr. Lemon and his morning show, that number came in at a paltry 65,000 viewers. For comparison’s sake, “Fox & Friends” pulled in 180,000.
For the week, CNN’s morning programming finished behind HGTV and the Hallmark Channel, among others.
The simple fact is that the American audience repeatedly shows that it has little interest in the left-wing narrative pumped up by the mainstream media. Lemon and CNN made a few ripples during the Trump administration, but the biggest audience prefers news without progressive rhetoric.