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February 02, 2021

CNN's Ratings Crash 44% in Post-Trump Outrage Desert

#DeathToCNN.

While January 2021 will go down in the ratings record books for CNN, the last week of the month may offer a portent of what the post-Trump era will be like for the network.

In the first week of the Biden administration, the AT&T-owned news channel saw the audiences that had been flooding into primetime recently drop precipitously on Jan. 25-29 compared with the highs of previous weeks. Meanwhile, rival Fox News Channel saw its own ratings only dip slightly after weeks of registering its own sharp declines.

Another network that has been characterized as left-leaning, MSNBC, has also seen significant declines but nowhere near as steep as what has hit CNN...

"Characterized as left-leaning."

While it's too early to conclude any longer-term direction for news ratings after just one week, the downturn could be interpreted as an indicator of what many industry observers had anticipated: With Biden in the White House, networks that have spent the last four years railing consistently against Trump have lost the main attraction that energized their audience bases, making it difficult to hold onto the elevated viewing levels.

Alas, this means that Fox will just assume that its mad dash to the left, its headlong Extreme Makeover into CNN-with-country-music, did not cause its own ratings fall. They'll revert to their previous assumption: That the dramatic fall in ratings was just a natural consequence of a demoralized audience, so they don't have to change anything.

Chris Wallace and Paul Ryan forever, yo.

Tucker Carlson had a good formulation about this: For five years, the "news" organizations' business model has simply been to gin up mass-hatred for Trump, and then get ratings by pandering to the hatred they'd created.

But Trump's gone now.

And yet, CNN and MSNBC and the networks still need ratings.

So now they're hunting anyone who supported Trump. That will be their next Ratings Generator.

As Carlson says, "Now that Trump's gone, you get to be Trump."

It's like Time Magazine chose the most hated villain in history: YOU.

But I guess that's really not the ratings draw that CNN needs it to be.

It's a non-Fox clip, so view without guilt. I have it cued to 7:13, just before he makes this particular point, but the whole opening monologue is good, as usual.


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posted by Ace at 02:01 PM

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