The new year marked a new low for CNN’s long-struggling morning show “New Day.”
The advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54 is historically how cable news insiders measure success, and CNN’s “New Day” kicked off 2022 with its smallest audience of all time in the critical category.
On Monday, Jan. 3, “New Day” with John Berman and outspoken liberal Brianna Keilar managed only 41,000 age 25-54 viewers, the smallest turnout since the program launched with much fanfare in 2013. The dismal turnout tied the previous low for CNN’s morning show when it also drew only 41,000 demo viewers back on June 26, 2014.
A variety of basic cable offerings, including CNBC, History, BET, The Weather Channel, VH1, HLN, Nickelodeon and TLC, all outdrew CNN’s “New Day” among the key demo on the first weekday of 2022.
With the exception of Christmas morning in 2015, the last time CNBC outdrew CNN in the key demo from 6-9 a.m. ET was on May 29, 2012, before “New Day” even existed.
“New Day,” which has struggled to gain relevancy in the crowded morning show space, nearly set its all-time low last week when it averaged only 42,000 viewers on Dec. 29.
CNN boss Jeff Zucker, who took over CNN in January 2013, rose to prominence overseeing NBC’s “Today” during the Matt Lauer era, but has failed to replicate his success on cable. He created “New Day” with hand-picked anchors Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira and hired pop music superstar Alicia Keys to perform a promo jingle ahead of its premiere. Nine years and multiple lineup changes later, “New Day” finished 2021 with its worst quarter ever among the advertiser-coveted category.
Along the way, Keilar, who replaced longtime co-anchor Alisyn Camerota last year, has become known for a partisan approach that is typically reserved for primetime opinion programming.
“New Day” saw its demo viewership bounce back on Tuesday, when it averaged 73,000 onlookers, but still lost to multiple cable options, including Nick-at-Nite.
Ratings issues aren’t the only thing generating negative publicity for CNN’s morning show.
Last month, a CNN insider told Fox News Digital the entire “New Day” staff was “shaken” by the news that one of its former colleagues was arrested for alleged child sex crimes. John Griffin, who the network swiftly fired, was a senior producer for CNN’s morning show until he was taken into custody following a federal indictment accusing him of coercing parents to allow their minor daughters to engage in sexual activity in his home.
Griffin, who was affectionately referred to as “Griff” by colleagues, was respected internally as the type of hard-working, trustworthy producer that could handle any work-related situation, according to the insider.