CNN was among the 10 most-watched networks on basic cable for the month of April, finishing No. 9 in total day viewers. Its programming also beat the MSNBC competition on weekends and during dayside hours among adults 25-54.
In prime time, CNN’s live Town Hall programming delivered solid adults 25-54 audiences, while Cuomo Prime Time remained the network’s top-rated news program in both the demo adults 25-54 and in total viewers in April.
In the evenings, Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett out performed their respective MSNBC competitors in the demo, and the network, as a whole, tied MSNBC in A25-54 viewers across the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m. total day daypart (141,000 vs. 141,000).
Another positive from the month is that CNN Digital viewing added a +3% lift to CNN’s linear TV audience in April 2019.
But there was a good deal of bad news for CNN on the ratings front.
Those live town halls and Cuomo Prime Time couldn’t draw a large enough total audience to keep CNN in the prime time top 10, with the network finishing April at No. 15 in the daypart.
Relative to April 2018, the network was -26% this month in total prime time viewers, -25% in total day viewers, -41 % in the prime time demo, and -37% in the total day demo, registering its lowest A25-54 audience since August 2015, pre-Trump.
Few, if any, cable networks experienced a similar year-over-year drop off. It’s also the most significant drop off of cable news’ big three.
Here’s CNN’s press release:
FOR THE 58TH STRAIGHT MONTH, CNN BEATS (OR TIES) MSNBC
IN TOTAL DAY IN KEY DEMO ADULTS 25-54
Network Outperforms MSNBC in Dayside Demo for 62nd Straight Month; Longest Streak on Record
Tops MSNBC on Weekends in Demo
Key CNN Programs Best MSNBC in April
CNN Ranks as Top 10 Network in All of Cable for 16th Consecutive Month
In April, CNN averaged 141k in total day (6am-6am) in the key demo adults 25-54, tying with MSNBC and marking the 58th straight month that CNN either beat (or tied) MSNBC. The network also surpassed MSNBC during dayside (9am-4pm), where CNN ranks #2 in cable news (143k vs MSNBC’s 121k), now for the 62nd consecutive month, the longest streak on record. On weekends, CNN delivered higher 25-54 audiences than MSNBC in both total day (114k vs. 82k) and prime time (128k vs. 84k), and bested MSNBC for 21 out of 24 hours on Saturdays and Sundays in adults 25-54. All of CNN Sunday morning programs posted more viewers in the key demo 25-54 than MSNBC, ranking #2 in cable news.
Also this month, many CNN programs outperformed MSNBC in the all-important demographic adults 25-54. Cuomo Prime Time continues to be the network’s top-rated news program in both the demo adults 25-54 and in total viewers this month. CNN also ranked as a Top 10 network in all of cable and has the youngest audience in cable news in total day and prime time.
Key Program Highlights:
- Erin Burnett Outfront (7pm) topped MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews in April in the key demo adults 25-54 (199k vs. 190k). The Burnett-led program has now topped MSNBC for the 11th straight month and for 19 out of the last 24 months.
- Cuomo Prime Time (9pm) continued as CNN’s top-rated news program in both total viewers (925k) and in the demo 25-54 (236k) this month.
- The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer easily outperformed MSNBC at both 5pm (180k vs. 161k) and at 6pm (189k vs. 171k) for the 11th straight month and for 23 of the past 24 months among adults 25-54.
- New Day with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman (6-9am) had its third highest April on record among both total viewers and adults 25-54 (behind 2018 and 2017).
- CNN dayside programs CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto (9-11am), At This Hour with Kate Bolduan (11am) Inside Politics with John King (noon), CNN Right Now with Brianna Keilar (1pm), CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin (2-4pm) all easily surpassed MSNBC this month, posting higher demo 25-54 audiences.
- On Saturdays, New Day Saturday, Smerconish, CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield/Ana Cabrera, S.E. Cupp Unfiltered, The Van Jones Show and The Axe Files with David Axelrod all topped MSNBC in the key demo 25-54 in April.
- On Sunday mornings, Inside Politics with John King (8am), State of the Union with Jake Tapper (9am), Fareed Zakaria: GPS (10am) and Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter (11am) all posted more viewers in the key demo 25-54 than MSNBC, ranking #2 in cable news. New Day Sunday and the Sunday editions of CNN Newsroom topped MSNBC.
CNN Original Series Highlights:
- Tricky Dick (3/17/19-4/14/19, Sundays at 10pm) ranked #2 in cable news in all demos. The Original Series averaged 206k in adults 25-54, 859k among total viewers, and 29k in 18-34. In the demo (25-54) and total viewers, Tricky Dick posted audience levels double-digits above MSNBC in its time period. Versus the prior four Sundays in the time period, the series posted the largest growth in cable news among total viewers (+25%).
- The Bush Years (3/3/19 – 4/7/19, Sundays 9pm & 10pm) averaged 204k in adults 25-54, 783k in total viewers, and 40k among 18-34 during its season. The series ranked #2 in in cable news, outperforming MSNBC by double-digits among adults 25-54 (+94%) and in total viewers (+26%). The Bush Years 2019-to-date ranks #4 among the top 10 non-fiction Historical series in all of cable in the demo 25-54.
- Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta (4/13/19-4/20/19, Saturdays 9pm & 10pm) ranked #2 in cable news in the demo adults 25-54. The series delivered 155k in 25-54, 605k among total viewers, and 47k in 18-34. In the key demo 25-54, the series was up +104% vs. MSNBC in the time period. Versus the prior four Saturdays in the time period, the series posted the most growth in cable news, increasing +30% in total viewers, +27% in the demo 25-54 and +74% among younger viewers 18-34.
- The Redemption Project with Van Jones (4/29/19, Sundays 9pm) ranked #2 in cable news in the key demo 25-54, and #1 in the time period in younger viewers (18-34). The series delivered 101k among 25-54, 507k in total viewers , and 37k among 18-34. The Redemption Project outperformed MSNBC by double-digits in the demo 25-54 (+51%) and by triple digits among 18-34 (+311%).
- United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell (Season 4) (4/29/19, Sundays 10pm) ranked #2 in the time period in the key demos 25-54 and 18-34. The series delivered 162k in 25-54, 457k among total viewers, and 20k in 18-34. United Shades outperformed MSNBC by triple-digits among 25-54 (+212%) and 18-34 (+233%) and was up vs. CNN’s prior four Sundays average among 25-54 (+32%).
All of Cable:
Among all cable networks, CNN ranked #9 this month, marking the 16th consecutive month that CNN is a Top 10 cable network among total viewers in total day.
CNN attracted an audience that is two years younger than Fox News and three years younger than MSNBC in total day. CNN is three years younger than both Fox News and MSNBC in prime time. MSNBC is tracking at its oldest yearly median age on record in total day and prime time.
Cable News TV Reach:
CNN continues to reach the largest cumulative TV audience (among both total viewers and adults 25-54) of any cable news network 2019-to-date making this the 18th consecutive year on record for the network.
2019-to-date, CNN reaches more people than any other cable news brand across TV and digital and reaches more people ages 25-54 and 18-34 than any other news brand across TV and digital.
Out of Home Viewing:
In April 2019, in total day, CNN is averaging a +8% lift (+11k) among adults 25-54 and a +5% lift (+27k) in total viewers with Out-of-Home viewers.
CNN Digital viewing added a +3% lift to CNN’s TV audience in April 2019.