CNN ratings crash in October without any regular program averaging 1 million viewers

The only thing spookier than Halloween for CNN is the network’s freefalling viewership. 

During the month of October, nearly every single program failed to average 1 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. This marks historic lows for the so-called “most trusted name in news.”

The only two exceptions during the 31 days were the 90-minute Biden town hall, which still came in third place behind Fox News and MSNBC averaging only 1.2 million viewers, and the 30-minute “Cuomo Prime Time” that aired immediately after with 1.1 million. 

CNN SPENT NEARLY 80% OF SEPTEMBER UNDER 1 MILLION VIEWERS

CNN averaged a devastating 480,000 in total day viewership in October, a whopping 76% drop from January amid the chaotic transition from President Trump to President Biden. Fox News averaged 1.4 million and maintained its total day viewership from earlier this year while MSNBC averaged 657,000 viewers in October, resulting in a 61% drop from January. The network lost 14% of its viewers from September. 

CNN’s weeknight primetime lineup didn’t fare much better, averaging just 733,000, an astonishing 78% drop from January. MSNBC averaged 1.5 million viewers in primetime, losing over half of its audience since January. Meanwhile, Fox News dominated with 2.6 million viewers, marking only a 14% decrease from the turbulent weeks leading up to Biden’s inauguration.

DOWNTOWN, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES - 2015/11/14: CNN World Headquarters. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

DOWNTOWN, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES – 2015/11/14: CNN World Headquarters. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“Cuomo Prime Time” was CNN’s most-watched program in October, which does not amount to much since its beleaguered anchor Chris Cuomo reached an average of just 807,000 viewers, losing 8% of his audience since September. Despite being the most popular show on CNN, “Cuomo Prime Time” had its worst month since it launched in 2017 and finished behind 15 Fox News and seven MSNBC programs. 

CNN’s Cuomo suffered yet another uncomfortable news cycle after his brother, disgraced former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was charged with a sex crime, which went unmentioned on “Cuomo Prime Time.” 

Meanwhile, “Hannity” trounced its competition with a 2.7 million average while “The Rachel Maddow” show averaged 2 million in the 9 p.m. ET timeslot. 

BIDEN RESCUES CNN FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY FROM NETWORK’S 26-DAY STREAK OF LESS THAN 1 MILLION VIEWERS

“Anderson Cooper 360” reached just 769,000 viewers on average last month, paling in comparison to “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which averaged 3.1 million viewers in the same 8 p.m.  ET timeslot while “All In with Chris Hayes” averaged 1.3 million.  Anderson Cooper shed roughly 16% of his audience from September alone. 

“Don Lemon Tonight” continues to be the biggest loser in primetime, averaging just 614,000 viewers while “The Ingraham Angle” pulled in an average of 2.2 million viewers in October while “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” closed the month with a 1.3 million viewer average in the 10 p.m.  ET timeslot. 

Lemon, who also helms the 11 p.m.  ET timeslot, shed 17% of his audience from the month prior. 

CNN’s all-male primetime lineup of Anderson Cooper, the embattled Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon frequently fails to attract even one-million viewers.

CNN’s all-male primetime lineup of Anderson Cooper, the embattled Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon frequently fails to attract even one-million viewers.
(CNN)

CNN’s daytime programming also scared away viewers throughout October. Jake Tapper, who is highly regarded as one of the liberal network’s most respected anchors, fell below the 700,000-viewer threshold. “The Lead” averaged just 681,000 viewers. 

CNN’s poorly watched, left-wing media pundit Brian Stelter similarly tumbled below the 700,000-average threshold with five installments of his Sunday program “Reliable Sources” averaging just 689,000 viewers in October, marking his lowest-rated month of 2021. 

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Stelter has only exceeded 1 million viewers twice since March, one of them being the breaking news coverage of billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space flight in July, the other in August amid the Biden administration’s chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The network’s flagship morning program “New Day” failed to even reach the 400,000-viewer average threshold, struggling with only a 382,000 average, shedding more than 10% of its September audience. The John Berman-Brianna Keilar duo continues to be the least-watched weekday talent on any of the major cable news networks. 

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report. 

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