CNN has been the premier 24 hour cable news service for decades. The network has had trouble retaining viewers in the past and is doing so again.
No surprise here, given the lack of editorial leadership combined with a passive-aggressive approach to political reporting that fails to give viewers the meat based protein that they crave.
CNN suffered a 50 percent drop in hosted program viewers. In comparison, Fox News is the propaganda arm of the right wing, never likes to correct its false reporting and is enjoying record viewership. Even MSNBC is doing better than CNN.
Inquisitr says that CNN averages 446,000 prime time programming viewers. Only 319,000 viewers pay attention during the daytime. MSNBC gets a lot more than that with 689,000 prime time viewers and FOX News sucks 1.79 million prime time viewers into its dripping maw of hatred and deceit.
But how many Americans own televisions and pay for cable service? A lot more than two or three million do.
The New York Times, reports that even prime time network series have suffered an unprecedented loss of the 18- to 49-year-old viewers who are their target audience.
But CNN's viewership is the lowest in 21 years.
The network went stark raving mad a few years ago with a bias toward wild and crazy right wing radio talk show hosts. The network ran through Lou Dobbs, the virulent anti Mexican illegal immigration polemicist who is himself from Delicias Mexico.
There was Michael Savage, a host so unstable that he only lasted a few months. Perhaps it was the sausage frying incident that woke CNN executives up to the fact that they don't call it "dope" for nothing.
Finally, there was Glenn Beck, a poorly educated histrionic who could not survive television even after being booted over to FOX news.
CNN's post Larry King "new breed" was supposed to appeal to some as yet unidentified segment of the population. Piers Morgan was once the editor of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid and was a talent show judge who avoided being a British twit. He has failed to maintain audience levels.
An expanded "Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer and his seriously unattractive curmudgeon sidekick fails to wow the audience. Even Anderson Cooper, who should appeal to the younger crowd, failed to maintain his own ratings. After stumbling around in hurricanes and looking all GQ amid the carnage in Haiti, the best that Cooper can do is a brief ripoff of Jon Stewart's shtick in a segment called the "Ridiculist".
The problem for CNN is that the network's brilliance for reporting important news is being wasted in a weak, middle of the road approach to the polarized, fractious world of domestic politics and fringe celebrities.
MSNBC and FOX news are far more exciting, annoying and entertaining when the political news cycle is slow.
But CNN fails to see an opportunity even when opportunity is ready to smack someone in the face: fill the news void by covering the stories that you have not been covering!
Dylan Byers of Politico has a good statement: “It’s frustrating to hear our leadership talk about the exemplary journalism we do, then turn on the TV during the day and see CNN doing another story about ‘birthers’ or ‘tips for dining out alone,’”
Politico identifies the following problems at CNN: stale programming, a lack of editorial leadership, an "identity crisis", and claiming a non partisan stance.
The truth is that CNN is simply passive-aggressive in favor of the corporate-political right and has gotten to be boring in the process.
Journalistic integrity does not have to be boring.The political self propagation that FOX and MSNBC have indulged in is not the answer either. MSNBC does it right with Reverend Al, Rachel Maddow, and the Irish firebrands of American politics. Chris Matthews is at least loud.
CNN has brought in Don Lemon and some other bright, young stars, but they are confined to the weekends. Good luck drawing age 18-49 viewers then.
America and the world are full of stories that need to be told. Constant repetition of nothing; bits on how to count your cholesterol and dog rescue stores do not inform us about our natural, physical, social and event filled national landscape.
What about historic fires in Colorado or the nation's largest bankruptcy filing by a single city. Viewers are hungry for the truth and the whole truth about bankrupt cities, the trend toward extremist legislation, historical forest fires and the effects of the economy on more people than blond haired white people from America's wormy heartland.
What about "strange noises heard around the world" or the radioactive junk from Japan that is headed our way? I love a good spooky tale about my state of the union turning Japanese with Fukushima radiation!
CNN should give people the news that they need to hear. Why this stopped happening is beyond comprehension because CNN is the most qualified and prepared cable news network in America.
Perhaps the ratings plunge will force CNN executives out of their managerial stupor and into positive and healthy action.
What kind of stories would make you set up the DVR for CNN?