If CNN’s show The Lead With Jake Tapper were a dinner party, you’d cancel it because so many guests bailed out.
Just look at the viewership numbers. Tapper’s weekday show, which was just expanded to two hours in April has already lost 75% of its viewers. Worse, the viewership shrunk by 49% from the first to the second quarter of this year.
Wait, the news gets even worse – or better, depending on your point of view – than that.
Fox News reports that losing 3/4 of the audience is bad enough, but in the crucial demographic 25-54, CNN’s viewership has tanked.
Tapper has also lost significant viewers among the key news demographic of adults age 25-54, dropping 79% of January’s audience during the first three weeks of June in his timeslot. Tapper’s show is down 47% in the second quarter compared to Q1 among the category most coveted by advertisers.
The show is circling the drain.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) June 28, 2021
After President Trump lost the 2020 general election – for which a CNN director took credit in a Project Veritas expose´ – the cable network scrambled to find something else to talk about besides bashing the 45th president.
James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas captured CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester on video bragging about overstating the former president’s medical ills, intentionally misstating COVID death numbers to make things look worse for Trump, and used “propaganda” against him.
“Look what we did, we [CNN] got Trump out. I am 100 percent going to say it, and I 100 percent believe that if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out,” Chester said, adding that he came to work at CNN because he ”wanted to be a part of that.”
“Our focus was to get Trump out of office, right? Without saying it, that’s what it was.”
[…] Chester also bragged in the sting tape that the network played up the COVID-19 death toll for ratings on order from top CNN brass.
So, considering that CNN’s raison d’être for the last year was using its news and talk programming to lie about President Trump – remember when Tapper won a major press award for regurgitating leaked fake news about Russia! Russia! Russia! – is it any wonder people thought, well, gee, this is BS and bailed out of watching?
Even if you loved or hated seeing them bash President Trump, what was the point in watching once the colorful and effective president was gone?
Fox News reported that Tapper’s politics interfere with what he has touted as his evenhanded news coverage. Tapper was a Democrat congressional staffer and worked for an anti-second amendment group before jumping to journalism.
Tapper’s show is billed as a balanced newscast but is a far cry from CNN’s original just-the-facts approach to journalism. Tapper, a frequent tweeter who is often critical of Republicans, suggested in May that he himself has not changed as a journalist since the pre-Trump era and that it’s the GOP that has deviated from “normal political behavior.”
Tapper may claim that he hasn’t had a transformation as a news anchor, but his constant condemnation of Republicans would indicate otherwise. After it was projected that Trump would lose the 2020 presidential election, the CNN anchor declared that for tens of millions of Americans, the “long national nightmare is over.”
Fox News gloated over the network’s reversal of fortune.
In April, CNN awarded Tapper with an extra hour and expanded the show from 4-6 p.m. ET but the move hasn’t paid off in the ratings department for the struggling network. “The Lead” averaged only 799,000 viewers during the 5-6 p.m. ET window through June 23, while Fox News’ “The Five” averaged 2.6 million during the same timeslot to beat Tapper by a whopping 229%.
The tanking ratings numbers for all of CNN caused the suits at the network to rearrange the deck chairs and shake up the programming.
Sounds like it couldn’t have happened to a better bunch of political operatives, I mean, journalists.