CNN Rating: Network’s Viewership Continues to Decline

    May 3, 2012
    WebProNews Staff
    Comments are off for this post.

CNN ratings are currently at a 10-year low, which, to me, is kind of surprising. Then again, I haven’t watched the channel in ages, so perhaps things have taken a turn for the worse as of late. The company was once the undisputed champion of the cable news networks. Now, it would seem, they’re struggling to stay afloat.

According to Nielsen, the news giant’s total-day viewership is averaging only 357,000, which is a remarkable 21% drop from last year. Additionally, Anderson Cooper’s evening news program experienced a 26% decline, drawing in a paltry 522,000 viewers. As you have guessed, these numbers have given the network the worst ratings in 10 years.

Anderson Cooper’s program isn’t the only one struggling at the moment. Most CNN shows are having trouble keeping viewers glued to the tube. For example, “Starting Point” is down 26%, while “Erin Burnett Outfront” has experienced a 22% decline in viewership.

All of this would seemingly indicate that the network is starting to fall apart at the seams. However, an official spokesperson for CNN claims that “ratings are cyclical”. They’re not the only news network experiencing problems; MSNBC and Fox News Channel have also experienced a steady decrease in viewers across the board, which suggests that this might be an industry-wide phenomenon.

It would seem that a lot of people on Twitter have their own theories as to why the company is experiencing some issues. A few of these tweets have been embedded below.

Bachmann rebuttal… RT @owillis: so wait, being the official network of the tea party debates didn’t boost cnn’s ratings? #surprisesurprise(image) 1 minute ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Maybe they should stop trying to be like FOX News–>Bad news: CNN’s worst ratings ever – http://t.co/e8gSSNcy http://t.co/9a0jwymK(image) 4 minutes ago via Tweet Button ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

CNN is pretty unwatchable most hours; needs to go back to its roots: RT @nytimes: CNN Ratings Decline Stirs Worries http://t.co/XhPsZQgP(image) 18 minutes ago via Echofon ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

CNN absent from Bewkes’s letter to employees w title: “Doing What We Do Best” due to ratings decline http://t.co/yr46oZzO(image) 8 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

CNN wondering why ratings have tanked, looking for answers. Suggest they look at whoever hired Soledad O’Brien, Elliot Spitzer & fire them(image) 24 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

  • Sue

    Maybe you will wake up and realize the majority of this country do have a Conservative lean. There is a limit to Liberalism. Some are now beginning to realize they do not want their children in an, “If it feels good, do it.” world. They also see where their freedoms are being eroded faster than ever before, and they want it to stop. I can remember when I used to watch CNN, NO MORE!

    • Jackie Trainor

      For me I am tired of turning on the news to here all about the doom and gloom. Its like they try to scare you into watching. Showing all the bad news all over the world. We need to see hope and good things that are going on as well. It is like they said wow look at all these viewers we got when 911 happend lets keep reporting on the bad stuff and they will keep coming. Frankly I believe people are ready to move on to better moments in there lives and families.

      • Marv

        You hit the nail on the head! We need a GOOD News channel!

    • http://WebProNews Sourdough

      Most of the country does not have a liberal lean. Just the people you associate with have a conservative lean.

  • johnson karen

    Too much politics…politics…too much exposure to Republican debates and non news stories. Get back in the news business and less opinion!

  • Wyatt Earp

    Maybe CNN should get a show like the Al Sharpton Comedy Hour, as seen on MSNBC, then the ratings will REALLY tank. . .

  • Wiley Coyote

    Put Brooke Baldwin on during prime time, promote the heck out of her through Facebook & Twitter and quit trying to be something you’re not. People just don’t want to sit and watch televised news anymore, because it has gotten so political and biased (thanks Fox News.) Well, except for maybe the brainwashed Zombie viewers of Fox.

    • rjcjr

      Well written – just what you would expect from a CNN viewer. Or is that you, Brooke ?

  • http://WebProNews Sourdough

    If people want to watch Fox news, they watch Fox news.

  • donald

    Of course the ratings are down and they will continue to drop.
    CNN has single handely ruined the only credible news organization and they did it all in broad daylight. The clincher for me was when this cute little bimbo, obviously hired for her measurements than her knowledge, said, regarding Air Force One, that it was just like the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. I DON’T THINK SO!!

    The point IS SHE was not hired because she knew anything about anything. The real fool was the one who wrote her copy, she was only there to look good and read what was given her. The apalling lack of basic understanding of NEWS of the people on CNN is too incredible to be believed.

  • http://cnn buster brown

    you continue to kiss obama’s ass and only liberals care be fair and equal on all news reporting. its news not your opinion

  • http://WebProNews Sourdough

    CNN is not pro-Obama nor liberal. If Fox viewers pulled their head out of their exhaust pipe to see some sunshine, they might realize that.

  • Dr. Robert Gage

    I gave up on CNN several years ago and switched to Fox because of the liberal bias shown on several CNN programs

    • Dave

      Yep, Fox News is definitely not bias. Hahahahha. Good olde fashion unbiased reporting.

  • Remus

    Good ratings are the result of showing something interesting to viewers. Continually showing folks like James Carville, and Alex Castronovo kissing the feet of those they support clearly isn’t attracting many viewers. Who thought it was a good idea for a show hosted by the #1 “John” of New York (Spitzer)?

  • Jim

    The more CNN tries to dumb it down and reach for everyone at once, the worse it gets for them. I call it the three P Network (PPP not CNN)–Puppies, Pandas and Pretty Kittens. Perhaps if they did news again, someone would watch. The last ime I watched CNN (for a very short time) was during the Japan nuclear problem. I turned on CNN to see what was happening. The story was about a child someone in the US doing crayon drawings about the nuclear meltdown. Very informative! I can’t make this stuff up!

  • keith

    It is real simply. I use to be an advid Cnn watcher, but when they strated deliberately being negative about every thing, especially President Obama, I turn them off. They aren’t a liberal station. They are far from it. Have you been watching John King, and his bubble headed beach blond wife Dana, when she comes on the air. It is the glee in her eyes and the salviation in him when there’s bad news. They need more diversity. Black and Hispanics are leaving in droves. Good riddance. Boring, Boring, boring.

  • Steve Meek

    CNN should go back to it’s original format of reporting the news !
    If I want opinions I will watch FOX News or MSNBC.

    Do you really believe the people that want to be informed about the news of the day, want to hear someones thoughts about how much Mrs. Romney’s blouse cost, or how Mrs. Obama’s purse cost? Is that really important to what is going on in the world today?

    Just go back to reporting the news without the opinions of the people reporting the news, and you will see your ratings go through the roof.

  • rocco a. feramisco

    cnn has become a real radical, biased view “news source”. it doesn’t report “the news”. it reports only slanted, obnoxious, empty, left-wing view-points and agendas. it doesn’t stand for real values, only trash, with trashy, un-interesting, shallow “special reports”. and, cnn is obviously so ignorantly in the tank for obama as well. and doesn’t allow anybody a word edge-wise. how ignorant. i mean, cnn just comes across like only a bunch of real news hacks, so molitically, and really lacking in journalistic tenacity. i only watch cnn for amusement now.

  • JT

    How can you say the ratings drop is a surprise to you–then immediately thereafter say you haven’t watched the network in ages!? How big of a surprise can it be to you if YOU haven’t bothered to tune in?

    On the matter in question, CNN’s problem has nothing to do with conservative or liberal political leanings. True, I won’t waste a minute on the hyperbolic nonsense Fox News craps out on a continuous basis, nor will I bother to watch MSNBC do the same thing from the opposite side of the aisle–but CNN is a different animal.

    CNN programming is littered with vapid “puff” pieces (i.e. water-skiing squirrels, Kardashians, Kardashians having sex with water-skiing squirrels) tied together with the up-to-the-minute “viewer” tweets. Who cares? Why in the world would we turn to a network that sells itself as a legitimate news source just to see how the “twittersphere” is blowing up about the Kardashians’ latest bowel movement? If I’m really that interested (which, I will tell you, I will never be), I could just log into Twitter.

    CNN is trying way too hard to stay ahead of the media game. In all honesty, considering the competition out there (i.e. Fox News, MSNBC, etc.), I think the most intelligent, (sadly) novel approach would be this: hire journalists to report the damn news.

  • Tom

    CNN desperately needs new on air “talent”.

  • Cathy

    CNN, is a joke!! What is up with the real news down at the bottom of the screen, and in need a binoculars, or a magnifing glass to see. While at the top the screen it is about stuff that you only need a few minutes to understand, not hours upon hours, of the same stuff. It is all about someones opinion, NOT the NEWS!! It isn’t a news station anymore it is a hutzy-cutzy show with no value!! I remember many years ago, Ed McMahon was saying that he likes to watch CNN because he can catch up on the world news in 20 minutes. What happened to that?

  • Univer

    Hint Hint, More Trayvon coverage equals less viewers. Dur.

  • http://yahoo.com Robert Rice

    These numbers are reflective of the national trends. Fox has been crushing CNN for years. The Fox audience voted overwhelmingly to smack Obama in the 2010 mid-term elections. He was humiliated. He will be even more humiliated in 2012. The ratings ARE the polls!

  • The Truth

    It’s not an Industry wide phenom. They all lie, and SOME sheep have FINALLY woken up. We get our news from the real media, which these wankers call “alternative media”.

  • Steve Meek

    I thought CNN stood for Cable News Network, what part of NEWS don’t you understand?

  • http://yahoo patricia peacock

    LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE,,,WE ALL CANNOT BE WRONG,,,There are aprox. 5 commercials to eash 10 minutes of news…I change it to another channel. I refuse to listen to a commercial when I need news. I know you need sponsers, but get over it…you are losing your audiance because they cannot sit thru 5 minutes of commericals.

  • Russell

    CNN=Communist News Network.

  • alex

    I think the reason why the ratings of these networks are decreasing because nobody wants to watch the news anymore! It’s too depressing! The world is getting worse. And no one wants to see that.

  • Emmanuel Lee

    The reason CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are losing viewers is because they are a joke. The press is supposed to keep the government in check, but instead they are subsidized by them, creating a conflict of interest. In order to not jeopardize their funding (like Time-Warner, GE, Viacom, Disney and News Corp need it), they run stories that don’t upset the government much at all. They completely omitted talking about the National Defense Authorization Act that allows the govt to indefinitely detain US citizens “suspected of terrorism”. They deliberately blacked out the Ron Paul campaign in ways that didn’t even seem all that veiled. The discussions they hold on their shows only skim the surface of supposed “hot-button issues”. This reason in particular turns me off because I feel like they whetted my appetite and didn’t deliver the insight I wanted. So I gotta admit, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them losing ratings. They had it coming for a while now. And people are getting their news, just from different sources. When I watch the cable news channels, it’s only to get the government line. For the real news, I have sources like RT (Russia Today).

  • jim

    2 words SARAH PALIN

  • Deano Sauve

    CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC….all the same, all totally unwatchable, all totally deluded. If you are turning to the television for you news and information you are a leftist zombie! Fox tries to remain neutral, but they fail when Hannity or Huckabee, etc… are broadcast.

  • ClarencE elkin


  • kelli

    The reason why I stop watching cnn, foxnews, because they keep on talking about the same old news. They get one story and they talk about it all day long. No body wants to hear about the same old thing over and over again. None of them report on real news or tell you the truth about what really happening,they like to keep us in the dark about what really happening. So I watch RT News or listen to alex jones.

  • Dave

    CNN = CONSTANTLY NEGATIVE NEWS. Plus it’s TOTALLY biased. They like to use reporters who would not know objective journalism if it came up and bit them on the gluteus maximus.
    Put those 2 together and no wonder people get tired of being spoon-fed garbage.

  • Charlie

    Everyone is just fed up with the liberal bias; it has gone way too far and they are tuning out or going to alternatives like Fox. I want my news straight up; not airbrushed to conform to some liberal concept. Is this what they really teach in journalism classes.

  • http://None Dick Hart

    I agree with Patricia Peacock’s comment of too many commercials. I’m tired of sitting through 4 or 5, or more commercials then getting one news story and then back to 4 or 5 more commercials. More and more I’ve seen CNN cut into the middle of a news story and go to a commercial. I’ve also seen CNN describe an upcoming news story after the break but the news story never shows up later as promised. It’s no wonder CNN is near the bottom of the ratings. I’m watching CNN less and less because of all the commercials, cut up news stories and news stories promised later but never broadcast. There are times when a news story will be broadcast, but sometime later could be 1-3 hours later. I’m tired of what CNN has done to a news broadcast that was really great years ago. I’m becoming a big fan of newspapers again!
    Dick Hart

  • Jeff

    I have an idea for CNN.have the women at CNN dress up like cocktail waitresses like they do at te Fox News Channel,because, let’s not kid ourselves,people watch Fox News Channel because of bueaty not brains.

  • Scott

    CNN has lost a lot of it’s audience because every news story has become an opinion piece! They no longer broadcast straight news stories, they have to bring in two or three other so called “experts” to give their assessment of it. Then hour after hour, no matter who’s hosting they do the same thing all over again! If they had one or two straight up commentary programs, that would be fine, but not a 24/7 cycle of it!

  • Rick

    Mainstream media like MSNBC, CNN, FOX, CBS, etc.. pretend Ron Paul doesn’t exist, so we pretend they don’t exist. I’ll NEVER watch their fake news again!

    • Mike

      Amen to that. I cancelled my cable and sold my TVs on eBay after seeing what they did to Ron Paul in 2008.


    There are youtube channels with more views than Anderson Cooper.

    The last time I saw him on TV, he was doing some kind of Maury Povich talk show.

    After Larry King got cancelled, I knew CNN was doomed. CNN is on a lifeboat with no rescue in sight. They will sink, it’s only a matter of time.

    They’ve gotten crushed by Fox News.

    The reason being? Their propoganda agenda is always, anti-America, anti-God, anti-gun, anti-Christian, pro-evil, pro-George Soros,

    while Americans are by and large

    pro-America, pro-God, pro-Christian, pro-Good, anti-George Soros.

  • Takeanotherlook

    Too MANY COMMERCIALS … 4 commercials it seems every 8 minutes of programming!! This is Killing CNN news, Robin Meade Morning News and most of your news programming. I would rather watch PBS then watch your shows. People have been mentioning this same thing since 2007. All commercials all the time.. If you want your business to continue to decline.. then thats your ticket..

  • Stewart

    Far to many commercials period. Even the website version has 30 second lead in commercials now for videos. I no longer watch either platform and get my news elsewhere.

  • Sayitaintsoy

    I know 4 people who watch CNN. That and Msnbc. Oh, and a couple of them even read the nyt. With those 3 sources of news and no Internet, I’d say their political views are based on a well rounded trough from which to quench their political thirst.