CNN continues to struggle in key prime-time slot – Fixie News
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CNN continues to struggle in key prime-time slot

CNN’s prime-time ratings are cratering.

The cable news titan founded by Ted Turner in 1980 dropped to 15th place in the coveted 8 p.m.-to-11 p.m. time slot last quarter after losing 20% of its viewers, according to TV ratings tracker Nielsen.

That’s five slots below where it was this time last year, Nielsen said.

Although TV ratings have slowly eroded overall as more consumers cut their cable subscriptions for streaming services, CNN took a steeper prime-time dive in the second quarter than most of its rivals.

The network drew 761,000 total prime-time viewers in the three months ended in June, putting it behind MSNBC’s 1.7 million viewers and Fox’s 2.4 million prime-time viewers. Fox ranked in first place — and MSNBC second place — among basic cable networks in prime time, Nielsen said.

Fox’s No. 1 ranking was helped by a bump in viewers for Sean Hannity’s show, which overtook MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” as the top-ranked cable news program last quarter.

CNN didn’t fare much better when it came to attracting viewers outside of its prime-time programs. Ratings for the entire day at Fox hit 1.32 million, 900,000 for MSNBC and just 541,000 for CNN.

CNN fell 18% in both total prime-time and total day viewers over 2018’s second quarter, Nielsen said. Fox, by contrast, was down 2% in total prime-time viewers and down 6% in total day viewers. Ratings at MSNBC, meanwhile, slumped 4% in prime time and just 2% total.

In the coveted demographic of ages 25 to 54, Fox averaged 373,000 viewers in prime time, compared with 252,000 at MSNBC and 188,000 at CNN.

A closer look at the demo of ages 25 to 54, which is important for advertising, suggests millennials are rapidly cutting their cable cords. Ratings in that group fell 37% for CNN, compared with a 27% drop at MSNBC and a 21% dip at Fox.

According to a ranking of cable’s top 90 shows, none of CNN’s programs even cracked the top 10. The network’s best show during prime time, “Cuomo Prime Time” hosted by Chris Cuomo, ranked No. 25.

MSNBC’s Maddow, who had the top-rated show last year, slipped to third place behind Hannity and Tucker Carlson, both of Fox News.

Hannity grabbed 3.2 million viewers in the quarter and 505,000 viewers ages 25 to 54. Carlson ended with 2.8 million total viewers and 477,000 in the key demo.

Maddow nabbed 2.6 million viewers and 396,000 viewers 25 to 54, while Cuomo attracted 910,000 viewers, including only 223,000 in the advertising-focused demo.

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