CNN Ratings Fall to 21 Year Low in Primetime During the Second Quarter of 2012

Categories: Cable News Ratings

Written By

June 26th, 2012

CNN's ratings continued to decline in the second quarter of 2012. The network scored its lowest primetime ratings in total viewers and adults 25-54 since 1991. Compared to the second quarter of 2011, CNNprimetime  is down 35% in total viewers and 45% in adults 25-54.  CNN had its worst total day performance in both viewers and adults 25-54 since 2001.

Every program on CNN  is down by double digits versus a year ago:

  • Anderson Cooper 360 (10pm) – down 48% in 25-54; down 44% in P2+


  • Anderson Cooper 360 (8pm) – down 23% in 25-54; down 19% in P2+


  • Piers Morgan (9pm) – down 33% in 25-54; down 29% in P2+


  • Erin Burnett Outfront (7pm) – down 45% in 25-54; down 33% in P2+


  • Situation Room with Blitzer (4-6pm) – down 42% in 25-54; down 26% in P2+


  • Starting Point (7-9am) – down 43% in 25-54; down 37% in P2+

For comparison,in primetime  Fox News is down 1% in total  viewers and 14% in adults 25-54 while MSNBC is down 13% in total viewers and 17% in adults 25-54.


  • Ralph Hahn

    Not trying to be crude, but CNN shouldn’t just replace a couple of shows. The whole network needs an enema.

  • jo

    Maybe Glen Beck and Olbermann,buzz.

  • Ralph Hahn

    Forget Glenn Beck. IF he ever went to CNN, or someplace even worse like MSNBC, he would lose a LOT of credibility.

  • Ralph Hahn

    Forget Olbermann, too. He’s hit rock bottom with Al Gore’s network giving him his walking papers. But, you KNOW he’ll always have a home, and lots of respect, on “Letterman.”

  • dana

    CNN should go back to the roots of good journalism without a liberal or conservative spin..go back to fine reporting, fair and walter cronkitish..thats a niche that has disappeared but so sorely missed by the independants..cultivate new on air journalists like there used to be, not hacks who read off a teleprompter…they need to scrap what they have and start over..

  • Sherman Kappe

    Ratings aside, CNN is still the best of the three news stations. They are the closest to midddle-of-the road reporting of the three, and are always reliable when there is breaking news (which is when their ratings shoot up immediately). I watch CNN about 2 hours a day and will stick with them.

  • iggy.

    Maybe if CNN would stop telling us to go to twitter and facebook and ask jeeves all the time…

  • Steve Perry

    CNN is the only one with real news on cable. Fox and MSNBC are just opinion shows that cater to the Right and to the Left. Nobody goes to cable to see real news these days, they want to be fed opinions that are in line with their own.
    Most Americans get their news online and on Broadcast stations like NBC, CBS, and ABC.

    Nightly Viewers on Broadcast News:

    #1 – NBC = 7,650,000
    #2 – ABC = 6,856,000
    #3 – CBS = 5,385,000

  • Mike

    CNN is reaping the seeds that they have sewn to the puplic for years. It is not hard to discover the truth if you take the time to look past what you hear.

  • David H

    Ratings are crashing because the Hosts are putting their own personal agenda’s in their newscasts. Led by the foolish brit Piers Morgan with his left wing comments. Pushing his opinion on guests. He is no Larry King and can be very rude with guests… He will not make it… Better to fire him now and get anybody from the street…. Then you have Erin Burnett who is next to be canceled. Same thing, pushing her own opinion at every chance… Who cares what she thinks??? Just report the news.. Then there is Anderson Cooper whp does some great work like Haiti, Hero’s, Arab Spring, etc… Then he collapses into his own personal themes which is just not big news.. His waist of time on puppy pictures and ridiculist just takes away from the real news..
    Only bright spots are Wolf Blitzer, Joe Johns and Randi Kaye…. So sad to see CNN turn into the National Enquirer and crash into the has been’s.

  • David H

    Wow, just noticed that John King who has been cancelled beat out Erin Burnett out front last night… That’s sad.. I like John King and think he will do good for the elections this fall…. Here is my temp lineup to keep the lights on at CNN…. Joe Johns from 1-3 pm, Don Lemon 3-4, Randi Kaye 4-5, and Wolf Blitzer from 5 till 8…… Send the pushy brit Piers Morgan who is anti American packing back to his beloved England to be on some silly talent show with little ponies and Prairie Dogs…..

  • David H

    Oh, forgot, You didn’t see Anderson Cooper on my list?? He can stay on his little talk show on basket weaving and how to serve a latte… What happened to you Anderson??? Crashed like a burning Hindenburg….

  • doug moore

    “GIVE US 22 MINUTES & WELL GIVE YOU THE WORLD!”…remember when? maybe thats the problem, nothing stays the same. are all of these outlets necessary? TIME-WARNER will screw-up anything, even teds gift to a civilized/informed world. also look at court tv, what amess off 2nd rate “in session” anchors & discusting after 3pm programs, but they make the money..we deserve what we get!!!

  • AppleStinx

    Steve Perry wrote: “…Most Americans get their news online and on Broadcast stations like NBC, CBS, and ABC…”

    Just how much news do Americans get from half-hour programs versus 24-hour news? CNN alone can average about 100 million unique viewers each month.

  • doug moore

    turner craved a more engaged, responsible world through a straight-forward quality product. TIME/WARNER craves PROFIT! idealism is tough today..oh, & ill bet ted made plenty of money, too.

  • doug moore

    apple, brian williams gets 153m for 10hrs over 20 days per month. efficiency!

  • AppleStinx

    doug moore wrote: “apple, brian williams gets 153m for 10hrs over 20 days per month…”

    153m of what? Unique viewers??

  • dave

    CNN has tried the “middle of the road” approach…..but so do armadillos

  • 728huey

    I don’t think I’ve watched CNN in about a year. The last time I watched CNN was when I just flipping through channels and found out Amy Winehouse had died. Their biggest problem right now is that they have no identity. They tried to be Fox News lite, but who needs that when you have the full blown crazy at Fox News? MSNBC is a mirror image of Fox News, and their tagline is “The Place for Politics.” CNN needs to quit worrying about trying to be like Fox News or MSNBC and go back to roots of reporting the news without any bias.

  • Jeff

    Watching CNN is like watching the paint dry. Fox and MSNBC might be polar opposites but at least they are informational (in their own special way). If you want boring watch the nightly news.

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