New management at CNN is hoping that shuffling Don Lemon from primetime to a new morning show will increase ratings at the struggling network. However, the debut of the new "CNN This Morning" was a ratings bomb.
"CNN This Morning" took over the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. time slot from its predecessor, "New Day." The show features co-hosts Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins.
CNN has heavily promoted the new a.m. political talk show since Oct. 20.
The promotional trailer for the new show features all three co-hosts at a coffee shop talking about how they're all good friends. In the video, Harlow commended Lemon for being a "real friend" because he flew to Slovenia for her wedding.
Harlow explained, "We need to cover more of what is happening across America."
Lemon said of the new show, "It's really all about conversation. We are the place for accuracy, and we are the place for content."
However, the promotion for the new cable news show did not pay dividends in the debut of "CNN This Morning."
"CNN This Morning" debuted to an average of 387,000 total viewers on Tuesday. The scarcely-watched "New Day" actually had better ratings than the show that replaced it. "New Day" averaged 413,000 daily viewers in 2022 before it was canceled.
"CNN This Morning" also struggled to grab eyeballs from the coveted 25-54 demographic, only getting 71,000 in the age group targeted by advertisers.
IndieWire reported, "From a year-to-date perspective, the 'CNN This Morning' series premiere was down 6 percent in total viewers and -17 percent in the demo."
CNN's cable news competitors crushed the debut of "CNN This Morning."
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” more than doubled “CNN This Morning” with 793,000 total viewers on Tuesday, plus 114,000 in the 25-54 demographic. Fox News' "Fox & Friends" dominated with 1.5 million total viewers on Tuesday and 236,000 in the target group.
Fox News noted, "Repeats of 'Young Sheldon' and 'The Big Bang Theory' on TBS, ESPN’s 'Around the Horn,' decades-old reruns of 'Gunsmoke' on INSP and 'The Andy Griffith Show' on TV Land and TLC’s 'Little People, Big World' were among the basic cable offerings on Monday that had larger audiences than the debut of 'CNN This Morning.'"
Tuesday's debut of "CNN This Morning" was a ratings disaster despite the inaugural episode featuring a pre-recorded interview between Lemon and the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman.
CNN's chairman and CEO Chris Licht has high hopes for the Lemon-centric show.
"There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy, and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news program," Licht said when the show was announced in September. "They are each uniquely intelligent, reliable, and compelling; together they have a rare and palpable chemistry. Combined with CNN’s resources and global newsgathering capabilities, we will offer a smart, bold, and refreshing way to start the day."
There have been several changes that have taken place at the network since Licht took over.
It was also announced this week that CNN anchor Jake Tapper was being demoted from the primetime slot that he started just weeks ago back to his late-afternoon television show.
Following a six-month review of CNN's business, Licht will reportedly cut some jobs at the cable news network.
"We will be strategic in this process and will minimize the impact on our core newsgathering operation and digital, both of which have already executed smart changes," Licht wrote last month in a memo to employees. "Let me be clear: I will not allow these changes to affect our position as the world’s leading news source, and we will continue to invest in growth areas. When we conclude this process, CNN will still be the largest, most-respected newsgathering organization in the world. We will continue to cover any story, anywhere, any time–with more resources than anyone else. Full stop."
You can watch the promotional trailer for "CNN This Morning" below.
CNN This Morningwww.youtube.com