April 2012 Ratings: CNN Down Double Digits, Has Worst Month In Total Day Since August, 2001

By Alex Weprin 

Compared to the busy month of April 2011, April 2012 saw a dearth of major news events, and CNN’s ratings reflected that. The network was down double digits in total and demo viewers, in primetime and total day. In fact, it was CNN’s worst month in total day since August, 2001, and in primetime since August, 2010.

The ratings for April, 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 508K Total Viewers / 149K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 357K Total Viewers / 108K A25-54

CNN saw the most substantial ratings declines almost across the board when compared with its competitors. Given the strong news month in April, 2011 that should not be surprising, especially considering that opinion shows more reliably draw an audience than news programs do. That said, the declines are so substantial that a mere slow news month may not be enough to explain the drops.


“AC360” was the strongest performer on CNN’s lineup, declining only -2% in total viewers and -8% in the demo in the 8 PM timeslot compared to last year, when “In the Arena” held court.

The 4-5PM hour of “The Situation Room” was also only down -4% in total viewers, but dropped -24% in the demo. Nearly every other hour saw double-digit ratings drops.

In the morning,” Starting Point” was down double digits compared to last year, however, the program has been rising in the ratings every month since launch, which would be a positive trend if it continues.