Trump Says CNN ‘Ratings Have Crashed’ as Network Reportedly ‘Mired in Credibility Crisis’

By Zachary Stieber

President Donald Trump noted that CNN’s ratings have dropped significantly in a missive on July 12.


The language in the post indicated that the president had read or heard about a report from the right-leaning Fox News published on Thursday that was titled: “CNN mired in a credibility crisis as ratings continue to collapse, experts say.”

The report noted that CNN ratings have dropped even lower in the second quarter of 2019, averaging 541,000 viewers—less than half of Fox News.

CNN has for years ranked behind MSNBC and Fox and its top show is usually outside the top 20 shows. Overall, the cable news channel, which openly opposes Trump, often ranks behind channels like TLC, HGTV, and the Hallmark Channel.

Joe Concha, the media reporter for The Hill, told Fox that CNN may see its ratings decline even more.

“The numbers warrant concern, yes. Q2 was a particularly news-rich quarter highlighted by the release of the Mueller report and all the aftermath and controversy following it, plus the launch of several high-profile Democratic candidacies including Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg to propel 2020 coverage into high gear,” Concha said.

“It may only get worse in Q3 given the numbers we’re already seeing.”

An anonymous CNN employee told Fox that many employees are worried about the declining ratings but its higher-profile workers, such as Anderson Cooper, aren’t expressing concern.

“The people that are concerned—it’s certainly not the anchors who have lucrative contracts—it’s the people among the lower levels, such as producers and show bookers,” the employee said.

Another wondered: “Why don’t we try something different?”

The CNN office in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“Losing nearly 40 percent of an already third-place audience must be a primary topic in internal meetings, with immediate remedies not readily apparent,” Concha added.

CNN has been cutting some jobs, axing over 100 in one round May. Another layoff took place later that month as most of its health unit lost their jobs.

“As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” a spokesperson told TVNewser.

CNN media reporters, for the most part, avoid talking about ratings on the network. Oliver Darcy, a former conservative reporter who has been advocating for censorship of some independent outlets on social media, spent Thursday writing and sharing stories critical of Trump and conservative influencers he invited to the White House to discuss such censorship.

Brian Stelter onstage
Senior Media Correspondent at CNN Brian Stelter speaks onstage at an event in Beverly Hills, Cali. on October 9, 2018. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Brian Stelter, the network’s chief media correspondent, also regularly promotes stories that are critical of Trump, openly speculating without evidence at one point whether his mental health was adequate to serve as president.

In Stelter’s media newsletter on Thursday night, Darcy spent a number of bullet points hitting out at Trump and/or Fox, including calling Trump’s speech at the social media summit “meandering” and claiming there is no evidence of social media censorship of conservatives, a problem well-documented by websites such as The Daily Caller and Breitbart.

In his style of lashing out at independent media outlets and creators, Darcy wrote that the summit helped “validate some of Trump’s fringe political allies.”

“The President legitimized these figures while simultaneously working to tear down traditional news organizations, assailing them at the event,” he added.