CNN has hit a new low. Its prime-time shows have finished dead last among the cable news networks, The New York Times reports.
When the October cable news ratings were finalized Monday afternoon, CNN finished fourth and last place for the first time. The network that pioneered the 24-hour news format has trailed the Fox News Channel and MSNBC before, but is now also being beaten by its sister network, CNN Headline News.
The Times explains: “The results demonstrate once more the apparent preference of viewers for opinion-oriented shows from the news networks in prime time.”
For the first time, MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” beat CNN’s prime-time highlight, “Anderson Cooper 360,” and Sean Hannity’s and Rachel Maddow’s programs both finished solidly ahead of “Larry King Live” in the prime-time hours.
CNN said that it still attracts the most viewers when all hours of the day are considered, and that it is no surprise that viewers turn to more partisan programming during prime-time. “CNN’s ratings are always going to be more dependent on the news environment, much more so that opinion-based programming especially in prime time,” the network said in a statement.
CNN’s prime-time programs don’t lack opinions, said Don Surber in the Charleston, W.V., Daily Mail. It’s the “sneaky” way the network uses to express them — “Anderson Cooper’s sneering contempt for conservative protesters,” for example — that turned people off, and pulled CNN’s prime-time ratings down 68 percent in the last year. “Cooper and company try to be stealth but they come of as snide and fake, as if they are trying to hide who they really are.”
(Source: Politics Daily)