As the Trump administration came to an end, many CNN viewers likely wondered what the cable news network would spend its time discussing. Network bosses might now be asking themselves the same question.
After years of primarily hostile coverage of the former president, the channel’s ratings dropped precipitously over the course of President Joe Biden’s first two weeks in office.
Other networks also see decline in viewers
Variety confirmed the bad news for CNN in a recent report, noting that the network’s primetime numbers fell by about 44% during the week of Jan. 25 compared to the previous week.
As an example, CNN Tonight with host Don Lemon cratered from just over three million viewers to about 1.7 million. Similarly, Chris Cuomo’s nightly program deflated from 3.8 million viewers to just 2.1 million over the same period.
Of course, Fox News Channel and MSNBC ratings also saw a dip in the first days of the Biden administration, but neither saw the same rate of decline.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson was the only primetime personality across all of the cable news networks to show an increase — albeit modest — in viewers.
The dropoff in ratings came shortly after CNN posted its best month ever, even beating Fox News, which had dominated the ratings for two decades straight.
“Donald Trump is gone now”
Although short-lived, the spike in viewers for CNN was largely predictable given the aftermath of the November election and last month’s deadly riot on Capitol Hill, which provided the network with a narrative of “insurrection” and allowed hosts to denounce Trump supporters who participated as “terrorists.”
Furthermore, CNN has even made the stunning call for rival Fox News to be taken off the air for allegedly spreading false information.
Despite the current slump, CNN could find another boost to its ratings next week when a second impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate kicks off against Trump.
With the media narrative surrounding Biden focused on his supposed boring presence in the White House, any excitement from the impeachment hearings is likely to be embraced by the mainstream media.
Carlson addressed the reversal of fortunes in the news landscape, stating on Monday: “Donald Trump is gone now. That’s very bad news for the many people who made a living yelling at Donald Trump.”