News channel ratings typically peak during presidential election campaign season, culminating in the November results, so it’s no surprise most cable networks show lower audience levels in the months following the big vote every four years.
But with such a polarizing American vote – the most divisive in recent history — CNN ratings are dramatically down, falling off by almost 50 percent for primetime programming, per a Fox News report.
CNN averaged 2.5 million such viewers between Nov. 5 and Jan. 20, the day after the election to inauguration day.
Among the highlights – or, if you’re a CNN exec, lowlights – cited by Fox:
- Dec. 28 to Jan. 20: Primetime viewers went from an average of 3.1 million to 1.6 million, falling 49 percent.
- Jan. 21 to March 15: An average of 1.6 million viewers tuned in during primetime hours, down 36 percent.
- CNN averaged 2.2 million viewers during the first three weeks of 2021, but it has averaged just 1 million viewers since Biden took office, off 54 percent.
- The most sought-after age group, aged 25 to 54, according to MIT Media Lab was no different for CNN, which saw a 47% drop in viewership in that demographic Jan. 20-March 15.
- CNN’s daytime ratings dropped by 34% in the period between the election and Inauguration Day; CNN lost 58% of those aged 25 to 54.
The CNN numbers set records during the Trump presidency, hitting topping out last November, according to the New York Times.
By comparison, MSNBC lost 34 percent of its total-day viewers and 30 percent during primetime since Jan. 20.
Fox News has seen mainly single-digit declines.