Another Bad Year Plagued CNN As Rival Fox Soared: Report – Trump News 2024


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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


Another turbulent year for CNN saw the dismissal of seasoned hosts as well as changes in management and programming that failed to win back lost viewers.

“CNN once prided itself as the ‘most trusted name in news’ that was the go-to network for breaking news occurring around the world. But in 2023, it was best known for the utter chaos that unfolded both onscreen and behind the scenes,” Fox News, CNN’s chief rival and cable news leader, reported Friday.

Dating back to 2021, CNN suffered through a number of embarrassing scandals followed by changes in ownership and management that left morale in the gutter the following year.

“And 2023 proved to be another disastrous year for CNN, as controversial comments made by one of its biggest stars, yet another regime change, and a ratings free fall have all made headlines,” Fox News pointed out.

For example, Don Lemon lost his long-time primetime evening gig and was reassigned to co-hosting duties on a revamped morning show, but that went nowhere. In fact, Lemon was eventually ousted altogether after making controversial remarks about GOP presidential candidate and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley’s age. He spent 17 years at the network and was one of its most left-wing voices.

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“In 2022, David Zaslav, the chief of CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, tapped Chris Licht to lead the network following his anti-Trump predecessor Jeff Zucker, who was ousted amid scandal,” Fox News noted. “Zaslav saw potential in Licht who, despite having never run a news organization, was the executive producer who launched MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ successfully revamped ‘CBS This Morning’ and helped champion ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ in the late-night ratings war.”

Zaslav’s task for Licht, beyond halting the decline in the network’s viewership, was to remove CNN of its perceived liberal bias inherited from Zucker, who had shaped the network into a left-leaning entity that frequently criticized former President Trump and other Republicans.

With this goal, Licht faced challenges in gaining the confidence of CNN’s staff, many of whom were skeptical about the notion of any political bias at their network, Fox News reported.

Licht’s attempts at programming changes proved ineffective, mainly consisting of rearranging time slots for hosts and promoting correspondents without significant viewer support. Reports highlighted Licht’s less hands-on leadership style compared to Zucker, who maintained close relationships with network talent and exercised substantial editorial control.

Fox added that CNN’s viewership has remained dismal:

Through December 12, CNN managed only 482,000 average total day viewers compared to 1.2 million for Fox News. During primetime, CNN averaged only 586,000 primetime viewers to finish No. 12 among cable networks, with a smaller audience than networks such as TLC, Hallmark and HGTV. 

CNN’s most-watched program in 2023 was “Anderson Cooper 360,” which finished No. 29 among cable news options. Despite being CNN’s most popular show, “AC 360” managed only 743,000 total viewers to finish behind 14 Fox News programs and 14 MSNBC shows.

However, the network did manage to pick up some viewers year-over-year, according to an early November report.

“Fox News again topped all the cable news networks in October, but only CNN and MSNBC gained viewers versus last year, as Israel-Gaza coverage and the House Speaker upheaval dominated the news cycle,” Deadline reported.

The outlet noted further: “In primetime, Fox News averaged 2.12 million viewers, down 7% from October 2022. MSNBC drew 1.33 million, up 12%, and CNN posted 722,000, an increase of 16%. In the 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 256,000, off by 13%, while CNN averaged 167,000, up 25%, and MSNBC posted 132,000, up 16%.”

The outlet added: “In total, Fox News averaged 1.36 million, down 8%, followed by MSNBC with 895,000, up 19%, and CNN with 600,000, an increase of 12%. In the adults 25-54 demo, Fox News averaged 174,000, down 15%, while CNN posted 124,000, up 17%, and MSNBC was at 98,000, up 23%.”

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