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Jeff Zucker’s CNN Legacy: A 29% Drop in the Key Demo Audience During His 9 Years in Charge

Jeff Zucker immediately resigned as CNN president on Wednesday, sending shock waves by the cable information world. Zucker, who took over CNN on Jan. 1, 2013, has been an enormous participant in that world — however was his tenure good for the cable information channel, ratings-wise? The actually brief reply: No.

CNN viewership in primetime has fallen 3%, from 659,000 in January 2013 to 636,000 final month. That half’s not so unhealthy!

However the cable information community is at the moment down 29% in the important thing information demo of adults ages 25-54, from a median of 199,000 in January 2013 to 141,000 final month in primetime. That is fairly unhealthy.

The community’s primetime lineup has been comparatively steady in that point, with Anderson Cooper’s “AC 360°” main off at eight p.m. ET. Don Lemon changed Piers Morgan in 2014 within the 9 p.m. hour, and Chris Cuomo took over that point slot in 2017 (with Lemon transferring again to 10 p.m.). However Cuomo, who persistently had the community’s top-rated present, was fired final December amid fallout for his function in serving to his brother, disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, reply to a wave of sexual misconduct accusations that led to the Democratic politician’s resignation final summer time.

CNN is definitely up 11% in total-day (6 a.m. to six a.m.) viewers, from 443,000 in January 2013 to 493,000 final month. However once more, there’s the demo bummer that overshadows these good points: CNN is down 25% amongst adults 25-54 since 2013 beneath Zucker’s oversight.

That usually downward motion throughout Zucker’s nine-year CNN tenure isn’t the case throughout the board in cable information. Fox Information Channel, the chief within the area, averaged 2.266 million complete primetime viewers in January 2022, up 35% from what it averaged in January 2013 (1.674 million). In the important thing demo, Fox Information Channel averaged 342,000 viewers final month, up 23% from 2013 (277,000). In complete day, Fox Information is up 36% in complete viewers (1.422 million now vs. 1.046 million then) and +6% in the important thing demo (227,000 now vs. 214,000 then).

Regardless of the way you slice it, Fox Information has been killing CNN — particularly these days. In primetime complete viewers, Fox Information is at the moment bringing in a nightly viewers 3.5 instances bigger than CNN’s. The demo distinction is almost 2.5 instances, and the (rising) total-day chasms between the 2 cable information channels are practically as huge.

After all, the conservative-leaning Fox Information and the liberal-leaning CNN usually attraction to the alternative sides of the proverbial aisle, particularly in primetime. So what about MSNBC, which appears to lean even additional to the left than CNN?

MSNBC averaged 1.167 million complete primetime viewers in January 2022, up 44% from January 2013 (813,000). That is an important achieve — particularly on a share foundation — however it’s being offset precisely within the demo, which continues to be a key part in promoting advert time. Amongst adults 25-54, MSNBC averaged 132,000 primetime viewers final month, down 44% from 2013 (235,000). In complete day, MSNBC is up 35% in complete viewers (with a January 2022 common of 661,000 vs. January 2013 488,000) and down a grotesque 52% in the important thing information demo (all the way down to 75,000 in 2022 from 157,000 in 2013).

With Barack Obama successful reelection in November 2012, there was no new inauguration and thus new administration when Zucker took the reins at CNN. Due to this fact, we really feel January 2013 within reason comparable with January 2022 — a minimum of by way of the political information panorama. The best way tv is consumed has actually modified and quite a lot of viewership has shifted to streaming and/or delayed viewing, however information programming, like sports activities, continues to be primarily consumed on linear TV — and nearly fully dwell.

In an e-mail despatched to employees on Wednesday, Zucker wrote, “As a part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s tenure at CNN, I used to be requested a couple of consensual relationship with my closest colleague, somebody I’ve labored with for greater than 20 years. I acknowledged the connection developed lately. I used to be required to reveal it when it started however I did not. I used to be incorrect. Because of this, I’m resigning right now.”

Allison Gollust, who serves as govt vp and chief advertising and marketing officer, acknowledged that she and Zucker have been in a romantic relationship. “Jeff and I’ve been shut pals {and professional} companions for over 20 years. Lately, our relationship modified throughout COVID. I remorse that we did not disclose it on the proper time,” Gollust mentioned in her personal assertion on Wednesday. She intends to stay on the community.

A trio of CNN executives, Michael Bass, Amy Entelis and Ken Jautz, have been tapped to guide the corporate on an interim foundation. Supply: The Wrap

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