Everyone in TV-land knows about May. It’s commonly known as sweeps month. And anyone in and around the world of broadcasting not only understands the meaning of this – they prepare for it. Networks and stations run their best content and stay on their toes all month, holding their breath until Nielsen issues its numbers. Well, the folks over at CNN can exhale now, but only long enough to suck in some air while in shock – or perhaps just hyperventilate.
Will somebody please grab Jeff Zucker a paper bag?
He’s going to need it because CNN is no longer circling the drain; it’s been flushed. The most trusted name in news showed its most significant decline in primetime viewership with a 25% drop. Meanwhile, Fox News crushed the competition by continuing a 23-month rating dominance streak. Here’s how it all breaks down, according to Nielsen:
- Fox – 2.3M AVD (average daily viewers)
- MSNBC – 1.384M AVD
- CNN – 835K AVD
It Gets Better
The most coveted demographic in television is the 25-54 age group. This is because these are the folks who spend the most money. Thus, advertisers base their ad placements and rates on this crucial group of viewers. This is where CNN is hammered into submission:
- Fox – 461K
- MSNBC – 329K
- CNN – 265K
In prime time, Sean Hannity threw it down. He averaged 3.2M AVD while the lovely Ms. Rachel Maddow at MSNBC fell way behind with only 2.6M AVD. To put it in perspective, that’s a Secretariat-style lead at the Belmont Stakes.
The program with the most views on CNN, according to Nielsen, is Anderson Cooper 360. The second highest is Erin Burnett OutFront, but that show didn’t even crest one million views. This number lands Burnett in a solid 27th place. Ouch!
Of course, the president has been hitting CNN hard and repeatedly since the 2016 presidential campaign. The cable network has been shooting itself in the foot as well with errors and blatantly biased stories.
What does all this mean? Well, it indicates that advertisers will be canceling their “buys” on CNN faster than you can say fake news. If the leftist cable news outlet plans to keep its business model as is, it will need some serious resuscitation from outside sources. Perhaps Oprah and George Soros will ride in on their progressive thoroughbreds and save the day? Who knows? Either that or CNN is looking at “Vego-matic” and “the Clapper” ads as its primary source of income.
Television is, after all, a business. If people aren’t watching, advertisers aren’t going to place buys. It’s an established cycle that CNN may want to consider if they’re going to become more than a blip on the Nielsen radar screen. Or they could always just pack it in and call it a day.
Now wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?
Editor’s note: MSNBC’s average views daily was corrected.