(UnitedVoice.com) – Under new CEO Chris Licht, CNN is trying to break away from its reputation for ultra-liberal bias. That seems to be going down badly with some viewers; its ratings are falling sharply. Bosses are asking for patience while the network carries out its changes.
— New York Post (@nypost) March 30, 2023
All cable channels have seen viewer numbers slump over the last year, but CNN has suffered the biggest fall. Compared to March 2022, views were down by a massive 61% last month. This means that, at prime time, just 473,000 people were watching the channel; in March 2022, CNN could count on more than a million viewers. In even worse news for the network, some of the worst results are in the important 25-54 age group; among these viewers, who are particularly valued by advertisers, CNN’s popularity is at its lowest in decades.
For years, and especially since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, CNN has been facing increasing criticism for its obvious left-wing bias. Last year, it was taken over by Warner Bros. Discovery, which decided the network’s liberalism needed to be brought under control. To do that, they brought in Chris Licht, a former CBS producer. Licht immediately set out to rebuild CNN’s reputation for nonpartisan news — but it hasn’t been an easy ride so far. One of his first moves was to give “CNN This Morning” a makeover, but that hasn’t gone down well with viewers; ratings have slumped. Licht hopes other changes he’s planning will turn things around, but in the meantime, he’s asking people to be patient.
Former CNN executive producer Jennifer Thomas says viewers are finding the new-look CNN confusing. She’s calling for Licht to bring in more relevant news stories viewers can relate to, and cut back on the analysis. It’s important he gets things right; former CNN president Rick Kaplan says the biggest challenge is “short attention spans” and said that if a network doesn’t reflect the anger that soaks current US politics, “people don’t have time for you.” The patience Licht wants could be in short supply.
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