The cable news channel had averaged 2.5 million prime-time viewers from November 4 through Inauguration Day, according to a Fox News analysis of Nielsen data.
But data shows the network averaged only 1.6 million total prime-time viewers from January 21, the day after the inauguration of President Joe Biden, through March 15.
CNN’s overall prime-time viewership, from 8pm to 11pm Eastern Time, has dropped 36% since Biden took office in January, according to Fox News.
CNN’s overall prime-time viewership, from 8pm to 11pm Eastern Time, has dropped 36% since Biden took office in January. Pictured: CNN’s Chris Cuomo
Fox News suffered its own ratings hit after its viewership dropped 13 percent in January. Pictured: Fox News’ Tucker Carlson
From December 28 to January 20, CNN averaged 3.1 million prime-time viewers so the current average of 1.6 million total prime-time viewers marks a 49% decline from that time period.
Fox News did not include information about its own Nielsen ratings, or other cable news networks – and suffered its own ratings hit after the November 3 election.
Since January 21, CNN’s prime-time viewership of adults between the ages of 24 and 54 sunk a whopping 47% since Election Day and 58% since since the December 28 to January 20 time frame.
The network also suffered a major hit to its daytime viewership.
CNN averaged 1.7 million total daytime viewers from November 4 through January 20 and has since suffered a 34% decline, Fox News reported. CNN has averaged 1.1 million daytime viewers since Biden took office.
Daytime viewership among the 24-54 age group dropped 44% from an average of 483,000 to only 272,000, according to the outlet.
Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch recently spoke at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media and Telecom Conference where he addressed reports that Fox News’ total-day and prime-time ratings dropped 13 percent in January.
He said Fox News audience was ‘disappointed with the election results’ but suggested the company is turning around the ratings hit it took after the November election.
After the election, disappointed Fox News fans flocked to Newsmax – which has since seen lost ‘more than half’ of its own audience,’ Mediate noted.
‘Going forward, if history is any lesson, the main beneficiary of the Trump administration, from a ratings points of view, was MSNBC,’ Murdoch said at the conference.
‘MSNBC had the biggest lift, relative to where it was before to its peers, throughout the Trump administration. We think that that’s because they’re the loyal opposition. They called out the president when he needed to be called out.’
Murdoch said that Fox News will see its ratings ‘really improve from here’ as the network plays loyal opposition to the Biden administration for ‘at least the next four years.’
During the same March 5 conference, Jason Kilar, the CEO of CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia, said his company was ‘killing it’ with viewership because of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘It turns out the pandemic is a pretty big part of the news cycle and that’s not going away any time soon,’ Kilar said during the conference.
He continued: ‘If you take a look at the ratings and the performance, it’s going well. I think it’s going well because A. the team at CNN is doing a fantastic job and B. it turns out the pandemic and the way that we can inform and help contextualize the business is really good for ratings.’
Most major television outlets suffered ratings declines in 2020 but cable news channels CNN, Fox News and MSNBC were up, Variety previously reported.
Fox News had its best viewership year ever in 2020 as numbers went up 43 percent amid the pandemic and election cycle, even gaining viewers in the demographic for adults between the ages of 18 and 49, according to Variety.
CNN had its most-watched prime time ratings ever in 2020, which soared 83 percent overall and increased 95 percent its demographic of 18- to 49-year-olds.
‘Anyone that is paying attention to the news business through linear television, CNN is killing it. They’re the number one cable news network now and have been since the election,’ Kilar said during the conference.