CNN ratings trail Fox News, MSNBC despite war between Israel and Hamas

CNN, which is facing ratings problems, remains stuck in third place behind rivals Fox News and MSNBC, despite the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

The cable news channel attracted an average of 619,000 viewers on Monday, of which only 134,750 were in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic coveted by advertisers, according to the latest Nielsen figures.

The ratings were a fraction of the more than 2 million viewers who tuned in to Fox and the 1.7 million amassed by MSNBC, the data shows.

Fox also won the key demo race on Monday with 260,375 viewers, while MSNBC drew 157,750.

CNN’s primetime audience remains a weak spot for the network. Its top stars (Anderson Cooper, Kaitlan Collins and Abby Phillip) manage to attract an audience less than a quarter the size of their Fox News counterparts: Jesse Watters, Sean Hannity and Greg Guttfeld.

Second-place MSNBC’s primetime stars also manage to quadruple the audience of CNN, which hired former New York Times editor Mark Thompson to run the network after Chris Licht’s disastrous reign.

Thompson took command on October 9, two days after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and killed more than 1,400 people.

Glenn Greenwald, a journalist and frequent CNN critic, ridiculed the network on Wednesday.

“CNN can’t get more than 100,000 people under 55 to watch *in prime time* while a major war is going on in which Americans have a substantial interest,” Greenwald wrote, referring to the show’s audience. of Collins, “The Source”, which only managed 100,000 people in the 25-54 demographic.

“They can’t even get 500,000 total for prime time viewing. Simply a complete and well-deserved collapse despite enormous corporate promotion,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist wrote on his X social network account.

Nielsen’s numbers for Monday reflected those for the week of Nov. 6. Fox News finished in first place with a total of 1.26 million viewers on average, as well as 156,000 in the 25-54 demographic.

CNN remains a distant third behind Fox News and MSNBC in the cable news ratings race, despite major news stories in recent weeks.

In primetime, Fox News averaged 1.88 million total viewers for the week, the second-highest figure in all of basic cable behind Disney-owned ESPN.

In the 25-54 demographic, Fox News averaged 230,000 viewers, a 13% increase from the previous week. The viewership increase was likely due to coverage of elections in Kentucky, Ohio, Mississippi and Virginia.

MSNBC came in second, averaging more than 904,000 total viewers and 98,000 in the 25-54 demographic, as well as 1.35 million viewers in primetime and 141,000 viewers in the demo.

CNN finished in third place with 532,000 total viewers and 105,000 in the 25-54 demographic, as well as 684,000 total viewers and 169,000 in the 25-54 demographic in prime time last week, an increase from 23% and 33%, respectively, compared to the previous week.

The war between Israel and Hamas has dominated headlines in recent weeks, but CNN has been unable to translate its reporting on the conflict into viewership gains.
AFP via Getty Images

A CNN spokesperson pointed to the network’s ratings in October, which saw double-digit year-over-year increases.

Last month, CNN saw its audience in both the 25-54 demographic and overall audience increase by 47% and 31% respectively, outpacing the growth of Fox News and MSNBC.

CNN’s poor ratings have fueled speculation that parent company Warner Bros. Discovery could sell the network.

Last week, Jeff Zucker, the former CNN chief who was fired last year after it was revealed that he had had a years-long consensual relationship with his top marketing person, said his new investment firm would consider buying the channel if it put up for sale.

CNN remains far behind MSNBC, which is in second place in the cable news ratings race, according to Nielsen figures.

David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, has insisted that CNN is not for sale.

Under Zaslav’s leadership, CNN has been plunged into turmoil. Following Zucker’s ouster, Zaslav installed Licht, a former Stephen Colbert showrunner.

But Licht’s 14-month reign as CNN chief was marked by low ratings, the departure of anchor Don Lemon after a series of on-air scandals and a newsroom that largely maintained its loyalty to Zucker.

Licht was fired after a damning review in The Atlantic portrayed him as a distant, thin-skinned executive who was constantly looking over his shoulder.

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