MNSBC and CNN, among the nation’s left-wing networks, depended almost entirely on anti-Trump content for the past four years. Now that Trump has exited the office, the networks’ ratings have steadily plummeted to previously unprecedented levels.
Within a week of Trump leaving offie, the prime time hour ratings for CNN, or 8:00 p.m. through 10:00 p.m., fell by a dramatic 44 percent, per Variety Intelligence Platform’s viewership data analysis. In order to ascertain the viewership changes, Variety conducted analysis of data across two critical metrics, which include the following: total audience, and the target news demographic of individuals aged 25 to 54.
In the same time period, the primetime ratings for MSNBC also entered a free fall, though the decline was not as significant as CNN’s. Instead, the audience declined by nearly 20 percent in its 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. time slots, and by 11 percent in its 9:00 p.m. slot.
On the contrary, Fox News experienced a minor decrease in viewership during the 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. time slots. Furthermore, the network experienced zero decline in viewership at 8:00 p.m., during the broadcast of the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” show.
Of all the nightly programs, the 9:00 p.m. “Cuomo Prime Time” broadcast was affected the most negatively, which saw its target audience fall by more than 50 percent.
The discrepancy in ratings is signifiant due to the fact that CNN performed very well in January, notably as Trump’s term drew to a close. In addition, CNN also briefly sailed ahead of Fox News when covering the impeachment proceedings, Biden’s inauguration, and the Capitol Hill riot.
However, despite the rancor CNN and MSNBC demonstrate towards Trump, they may yearn for his presence again, purely to drive greater business.
In its report, Variety also observed that it’s too soon to reach any major conclusions about long-term news ratings direction, though this precipitous decline “could be interpreted as an indicator of what many industry observers had anticipated”: Since Trump, the main attraction, is now gone from constant coverage, networks are struggling to to keep “elevated viewing levels” in his absence.
Whether or not low viewership for CNN and MSNBC persists remains unknown, and the networks’ potential response to this decline remains even more unknown. However, they are unlikely to present a conservative viewpoint at any point soon, particularly with the upcoming impeachment trial against Trump.