Ed Driscoll

Plenty Of Blame To Go Around For CNN's Ratings Plunge

Don Surber writes, “CNN’s numbers drop 68% in prime to last place” — despite being an official Obama-approved TV network. Gosh, go figure:

o-presspassI have been reporting CNN’s bad numbers for some time and now it will be official when the October numbers are in, CNN is in last place behind MSNBC, HLN and you know who.

CNN’s numbers have dropped in half overall (52%) and 68% in prime time comparing October 2008 to 2009, TV by the Numbers reported.

In the 25-54 demographic, CNN dropped 62% overall and by 77% in prime time.

Even the mainstream press is now reporting it.

“The official monthly numbers will be finalized at 4 p.m. Monday and will include results from Friday. CNN executives conceded that will not change the competitive standing for the month. CNN will still be last in prime time,” the New York Times reported.

The excuse?

“The results demonstrate once more the apparent preference of viewers for opinion-oriented shows from the news networks in prime time,” the New York Times reported.


The sneaky opinion — Anderson Cooper’s sneering contempt for conservative protesters — is what people don’t like. Cooper and company try to be stealth but they come of as snide and fake, as if they are trying to hide who they really are.


Cooper is far from the only CNN on-air talent to insult half their potential audience, of course. And there’s plenty of additional blame to go around, not to mention the karmic blowback after the network admitted being in bed with Saddam Hussein.

But as far as “the apparent preference of viewers for opinion-oriented shows from the news networks in prime time,” can Jon Stewart be blamed for their demise? That’s what one of Jonah Goldberg’s readers ponders:

Remember that famous tete a tete John Stewart had with Tucker Carlson on Crossfire? John Klein ostentatiously said that he agreed with Stewart that the Crossfire Crew was destroying America. The CNN execs made the decision to side with the cool guy, get rid of the “crude shout shows” and go strictly with sexy news anchors, excepting Lou Dobbs. Well, I say it serves ’em right. I grew up on Crossfire and I liked it. At least the show didn’t have the pretense that it was objective.

Jonah replies:

I think this is a bit too simple. But I do think that reader has a very good point. Many of CNN’s problems can be placed at Jon Klein’s feet and that episode was a big part of CNN’s downfall. I was “at” CNN as a contributor for much of that period and Klein’s behavior was idiotic and shameful. Tucker Carlson tried to defend his network and its flagship show (which CNN had poured millions into) and Klein opted to “side with the cool guy” as the reader puts it.


What could go wrong?

(Graphic via Hot Air.)

Update: In contrast, “Fox News Channel’s Ratings Soar After White House Attack”, Noel Sheppard writes at Newsbusters.

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