Live by impeachment hype, die by impeachment hype.
“The Rachel Maddow Show” averaged just 410,000 viewers in the coveted 25-54 demographic in May, the lowest since President Trump was sworn-in nearly 30 months ago. According to John Gage at the Washington Examiner, MSNBC’s presumably depressed audience mustered an average of 412,000 viewers the month Trump took office.
Maddow, whose big claim to fame in that time has been a hard push for the COLLUSION! conspiracy theory, has been in the ratings dumpster since the Mueller report was released, absolving the president, his campaign, or anyone in America of any collusion with anybody.
The Wrap’s Tony Maglio gently spun the story, reminding readers that Maddow “was still the third highest-rated primetime series across cable news,” and that she “she still beat ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ on CNN.” But two things you need to keep in mind: One, Maddow was a distant third to Fox’s Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, and; Two, a guy on YouTube getting hit in the nads over and over with a Nerf bat probably draws more viewers than Chris Cuomo.
Here are the networks’ total numbers for May in the primetime viewing hours:
Fox News Channel: 2,388,000 total viewers (377,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 1,654,000 total viewers (242,000 in 25-54)
CNN: 761,000 total viewers (185,000 in 25-54)
The thing to remember is that the only numbers that really affect the bottom line are in that 25-54 age bracket. Carmakers selling tech-laden CUVs to 40-something parents entering their prime earning years (or sports cars to guys in their 50s) are willing to pay much bigger ad dollars than, say, aging celebrities selling reverse mortgages or Gold Bond Medicated Powder to even older viewers.
And in that key demo, none of the big networks look all that great. Fox is still the leader by far, but even they’re down double-digits post-Mueller. CNN’s long-term decline has been going on so long now, that they look forward someday to making the long trip back up to the gutter. Meanwhile, their numbers (and presumably their financials) are so bad, that the first-ever 24/7 international news network just fired every single one of its London correspondents, then asked them to reapply for their jobs. It’s safe to say that not all will reapply, not all that reapply will get their jobs back, and that all who do get their jobs back will probably have to take a pay cut. This latest “comes only three days after CNN let go almost its entire health department, and only three weeks after 100 CNN workers chose to accept voluntary buyouts and left their positions.” If you’re in possession of a gently used copy of Coding for Dummies, now would be a good time to put it on eBay.
Looking forward, maybe the last person to leave CNN before it goes dark can find work feeding all-new conspiracy theories into Maddow’s teleprompter. Assuming, of course, Cuomo can figure out how to run the thing.