CNN hemorrhaging viewers since Trump left office, down nearly 50% in key measurables

Liberal network has lost 47% of primetime audience among the 25-to-54 demographic most important to advertisers

CNN has been hemorrhaging viewers since former President Trump left office, losing roughly half of its audience in key measurables since January following a brief post-Election Day spike.

CNN averaged 2.5 million primetime viewers from Nov. 4, the day following the presidential election, through Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. But viewers fled the liberal network once President Biden took office, and CNN has averaged only 1.6 million primetime viewers from Jan. 21 through March 15.

CNN’s viewership during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET dropped 36% since Biden took office after it spiked following Election Day. CNN’s primetime viewership decline was even sharper among the key demographic of adults age 25-to-54, plummeting 47% during the same period.

CNN’s viewership also suffered among the total day audience since Trump left office, leaving the liberal network without its bête noire.

CNN averaged 1.7 million viewers from Nov. 4 through Jan. 20, but it dropped to 1.1 million since Biden took office for a 34% fall. During the same period, CNN shed 44% of its total day viewers among the key demo, dropping from an average of 483,000 to only 272,000.

Longtime broadcaster Ted Koppel famously mocked CNN’s Brian Stelter to his face back in 2018, telling the network’s media pundit that “CNN’s ratings would be in the toilet without Donald Trump.”

Stelter shook his head in disagreement, but it turns out that Koppel was onto something.

CNN’s ratings’ nosedive is even worse when tossing out the weeks following Election Day.

CNN averaged 3.1 million primetime viewers from Dec. 28 through Jan 20, but it plummeted to 1.6 million from Inauguration Day to the present for a drop of 49%. When it comes to the key demo, CNN lost a staggering 58% of its viewers during the same time frames.

CNN also lost nearly half its viewers among the total day audience, too.

CNN averaged 2.2 million total day viewers from Dec. 28-Jan. 20, owed in part to viewers flocking to cable news for coverage of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and its aftermath. However, the network has since averaged only 1.1 million viewers for a significant 48% decline.

In addition to the declining viewership, CNN has been embarrassed by its handling of multiple scandals surrounding New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

The network notoriously allowed his younger brother, Chris Cuomo, to conduct a series of playful interviews in 2020 while largely avoiding lingering questions about the nursing home crisis in New York. CNN was then mocked for imposing a ban on the “Cuomo Prime Time” host intervening his big brother once the governor became engulfed with sexual harassment allegations.

All data is courtesy of Nielsen Media research.