Primetime is not good news for CNN lately. Amidst having its least watched month in primetime in two decades in May and the lowest rated month in total viewers in 10-years in April, CNN has now hit a 20-year all time primetime weekly low. The latest fall came during the week of July 30 to August 5, 2012. Both primetime hosts Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan were on full time duty that week, with no substitutes. The decline was among total viewers and the key 25-54 demo. During the week of July 30 to August 5, Piers Morgan Tonight at 9 PM averaged 314,000 viewers overall, with a mere 81,000 in the 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen. That average is the lowest week Morgan has had since he took over Larry King’s spot on January 17, 2011. During the same time slot over on Fox News, Sean Hannity averaged 1,749,000 total viewers and 324,000 in the 25-54 demo. On MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show averaged 933,000 total viewers that week, with 271,000 in the key demo. Bookending Morgan’s show, Anderson Cooper 360 at 8 PM averaged 349,000 viewers for the week, also with 81,000 in the demo. Cooper’s 360 10 PM repeat had 97,000 among the 25-54 demo, the sixth lowest the network has had in two decades, but a slight 259,000 average total viewers for the week. That averaged total viewership was the lowest 10 PM weekday hour CNN has had in 20 years. These numbers also came just days after CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton announced on July 27 that after nine years he’ll be leaving at the network at the end of the year. At the TCA earlier this month, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes told the audience that “we are not satisfied with CNN’s ratings performance and we are focused on fixing it.” There’s a lot to fix. Besides the other plummeting numbers, in late June CNN registered its lowest-rated quarter in primetime since 1991. In terms of ratings and viewers, Fox News is the number one news network in America, followed by MSNBC and then CNN in third place.
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