Former President Donald Trump used to joke that though mainstream journalists took aim at him any chance they got, they needed him to keep up the high ratings they enjoyed throughout his presidency. And it looks like that assertion was right.
According to Fox News, CNN’s ratings tanked to devastating lows over the summer as the left-leaning network lost access to their favorite punching bag.
In fact, Fox reports that CNN saw less than 1 million viewers on nearly 6 out of every 10 days from June to September, despite a plethora of stories breaking during that time period.
Severe ratings slump
Over the course of 92 days this summer, CNN averaged around 603,000 total day viewers, according to Neilsen data cited by Fox, down 42% over that same span in 2020.
The network failed to reach the 1 million viewer mark for 53 of those days, or roughly 58% of them.
Stunningly, CNN’s primetime trio — Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, and Chris Cuomo — actually performed even worse on average than the network overall, missing the 1 million viewer mark on 80 of those days, or about 87% of the summer. Their ratings were down overall by a whopping 50% compared to last summer, Fox reported.
Cuomo, the most-watched of the three primetime CNN hosts, averaged only about 948,000 viewers over the summer. Cooper saw an average of 914,000 viewers, and Lemon reportedly brought in around 751,000.
No longer “most trusted”
Of course, CNN’s shortcomings aren’t new. Mediaite reported in mid-August that the network had just completed its 24th consecutive week without hitting the 1 million viewers mark in total day viewership.
“The giant, loudmouth elephant in the room is Trump. All the networks suffer with ratings magnet Trump becoming less and less the story,” Mediaite’s Caleb Howe wrote. “But CNN was going to feel that hit worse than any after having made the conscious and public choice to be the anti-Trump network, the Trump Opposition News.”
Indeed, while CNN may bill itself as “the most trusted name in news,” it seems Americans aren’t buying what they’re trying to sell.
A Forbes report published last month revealed that when asked about brands they trust, 89% of Americans polled in August reported trusting Fox News, a rise of three percentage points since February. Meanwhile, Forbes reported, CNN saw its trust rating decline from 92% to 87%.
MSNBC also experienced a decline in trust, from 93% to 90%, Forbes reported.