More bad news arrived for CNN this week, with the New York Post reporting that Don Lemon’s new show “bombed” during its first day on the air.
According to the paper, “CNN This Morning” managed to draw in just 387,000 viewers when it debuted on Tuesday. Of that total, only 71,000 were in the 25 to 54-year-old demographic coveted by advertisers.
The Post noted that those figures paled in comparison with the 1.5 million viewers garnered by Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” which also airs in the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. time slot. Meanwhile, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” attracted 793,000 pairs of eyes.
Bad news for CNN
What’s more, “CNN This Morning” even failed to replicate the ratings of its predecessor, “New Day,” a program which averaged 404,000 viewers over the course of last month.
Lemon previously hosted “Don Lemon Tonight,” which aired at 10 p.m. on weeknights and often featured attacks on Republicans.
“This is the mainstreaming of white supremacist propaganda.”
CNN’s @DonLemon discusses calls for Fox News to fire Tucker Carlson over racist comments about “replacement theory.” pic.twitter.com/UdFIErouVg
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) April 10, 2021
The Post reported that “Don Lemon Tonight” was canceled in September, something Lemon described as a promotion, saying, “I was presented with an opportunity that I can’t pass up at this network.”
In addition to featuring the outspoken Lemon, “CNN This Morning” is also hosted by Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
Harlow previously hosted “CNN Newsroom” but announced in 2021 that she was leaving to study law while Collins served as CNN’s chief White House correspondent.
CNN spokesman responds
When speaking with the Post, a CNN spokesman dismissed any suggestions that “CNN This Morning’s” ratings were a bad sign for the program’s future.
“There’s not a morning show on television today that was a ratings success on day one,” the network spokesperson insisted. “Reporting on ratings failures or successes of an entirely new program after a single day is absurd and cheap.”
“That’s not the way this works. We’re entirely focused on developing a smart, compelling and relevant show that’s already having outsized impact. Anyone pushing an alternative narrative knows what a threat this talent lineup is.”