The post-President Trump world has left many media outlets hurting for clicks and viewers, but possibly the hardest-hit network could be CNN. "Reliable Sources" suffered its lowest ratings of the year, and yet somehow the news gets even worse for host Brian Stelter.
"Reliable Sources" averaged only 810,000 total viewers for the May 2 episode, which was the smallest audience the show had so far this year, according to Fox News. It gets even worse for the struggling Sunday morning cable TV news show because in the highly coveted demographic of adults ages 25-54, "Reliable Sources" was able to garner an abysmal 163,000 viewers. The news opinion program had viewership below 1 million for five consecutive weeks.
To add insult to injury, "Reliable Sources" had better ratings without regular host Stelter, who has often been labeled as a "hall monitor" by his critics. The previous week's episode with fill-in host John Avalon notched 907,000 viewers, nearly 100,000 more than when Stetler returned from vacation. Avalon also did better with the advertiser-friendly 25-54 demo, averaging 182,000 viewers.
"Reliable Sources" claims to examine "the media world – telling the story behind the story – how the news gets made," but often spends large portions of the show criticizing Fox News, especially with Donald Trump not available as a viable target since he is out of the White House.
Turn on @CNN – it's @ReliableSources time – @JohnAvlon is in the chair while I'm somewhere out here. Guests:… https://t.co/GwklZXZIc1— Brian Stelter (@Brian Stelter) 1619362847.0
CNN's "New Day" program is also struggling mightily, despite having a brand-new host. "New Day," which has a new co-host in Brianna Keilar who replaced Alisyn Camerota, had its worst ratings of the year last week. "New Day" is averaging fewer than 500,000 viewers with Keilar at the helm, down 37% compared to the first quarter with co-hosts Camerota and John Berman, according to Nielsen Media Research. "Fox & Friends," the direct competition for "New Day," reeled in an average of 1.2 million viewers from April 26 through May 2.
Overall, Fox News was the clearcut ratings winner with an average of 2.3 million primetime viewers, surpassing MSNBC with an average of 1.6 million. "Tucker Carlson Tonight" averaged 2.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched cable news program of the week.
A new Rasmussen Reports survey found that CNN is likely to continue to struggle in the ratings department. A survey of 1,000 likely voters between May 3-4 were asked if they continue to watch the big three cable networks.
Fox News was the winner with 41% of viewers saying they continue to watch the conservative news channel. But viewers are less likely to watch left-wing cable networks CNN and MSNBC. A mere 25% of respondents said they "generally watch" CNN, and only 21% said they tune into MSNBC.
"It may be that the biggest loser in last year's election wasn't a political candidate, but CNN, which has seen its ratings drop precipitously since former President Donald Trump left office in January," Rasmussen Reports stated. "Those numbers are a sharp reversal from four years ago, when Trump's presidency proved a ratings gold mine for CNN. In a June 2017 survey, 47% of regular cable news viewers said they generally watched CNN, compared to 33% for Fox News and 16% for MSNBC."
During President Joe Biden's first 100 days in office, ratings have plummeted for CNN and MSNBC.
"On average, 1.3 million household viewers were watching MSNBC in the last week of January, shortly after Biden took office," The Hill reported. "For the week ending April 25, that number was 868,000. At CNN, those figures went from 1.2 million to 749,000."