Just like there will come a day when no one will be left on earth who was alive during the first lunar landing, there will also be a time when there is no living person who remembers CNN as not only a relevant cable news operation but a network people actually watched.
The residual damage of collectively losing their minds when Donald Trump decided to run for President has buried CNN into a self-inflicted hell hole they may never climb out of. Their latest ratings are so bad that they should consider having FEMA representatives on hand the next time they make their numbers public.
The channel that Ted Turner built reached its lowest ratings in nine years across all day parts for the week ending January 22, 2023. The network averaged just 444,000 viewers in prime time. To put that in perspective, MrBeast would do ten times that number if he posted a video of him clipping his toenails and 90% of his subscribers lost their internet signal.
I don’t know how to say this to you, CNN, but you really should be humiliated. It actually gets worse. There’s one demo that advertisers care about in prime time; 25-54 year-olds. CNN averaged 93,000 of those coveted viewers.
Here’s another bit of bad news for Chris Licht and the other executives from Discovery trying to fix this mess — you can’t use the excuse of “nobody watches cable news anymore.” Many people do. And they are tuned to Fox News, which drew 1.4 million a night during that same time, and 176,000 in the key demo that drives revenue. Even MSNBC destroyed CNN, with 629,000 total viewers and 69,000 of them aged 25-54.
Licht is self-aware enough to know that he’s in charge of steering the Titanic of cable news channels, and he’s trying hard to hold off the orchestra as long as he can. He publicly stated that he has no interest in “partisan hackery,” and he needs to be commended. No more “ideological talking points” either, is what he said. That’s a good start.
But to be successful, he needs to put personalities in front of the camera that viewers want to watch. There are reports he might put a famous comedian in the 9 pm slot, with names like Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart, and Arsenio Hall being thrown out.
Hopefully, Licht has access to Google because if he does a soft search, he will discover that Stewart and Noah are the living, breathing definitions of “partisan hacks.” And if I’m not mistaken, Arsenio Hall was already past his prime when Larry King was on his first honeymoon. There’s only so much mileage you can get from being buddies with Eddie Murphy and Magic Johnson when it’s not 1988.
The move Licht needs to make is simple; offer Maher the gig. But he better brace himself for Maher putting down his vape pen just long enough to stop laughing and say, “Do you think I’m high?”
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