According to reports, a combination of two significant factors – namely, lacking viewership and an impending merger that’ll impact the news network – CNN could very well see some layoffs in the future.
This undoubtedly could spell trouble for the opinion-slingers on CNN, as they could find themselves without a network to call home.
Former managing editor for Mediaite and the Independent Journal Review Jon Nicosia took to Twitter on November 11th to share the “scoop” on what could be coming down the pike at CNN due to the looming merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia.
Nicosia referenced a recent report from Deadline where David Zaslav discussed what the future holds for him, as Zaslav is expected to be effectively running the show at CNN once the $43 billion merger closes by mid-2022.
“Scoop: CNN is going back to a 100% news channel. A “good number” of the “talent/staff” will be let go to align to that new mission. David Zaslav Vows To Be “Very Hands-On” And LA-Based In Running Warner Bros Discovery.”
“He has to do something dramatic. If merged today ‘Shark Week’ would eclipse every show on [CNN] by a mile.”
He has to do something dramatic. If merged today 'Shark Week' would eclipse every show on @cnn by a mile.
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) November 11, 2021
While Zaslav didn’t specifically say in the Deadline report that CNN staff would specifically be on the chopping block – he did express his dislike for opinion-laced news, saying “I think overall we’d probably be better off if we just had news networks in America,” as opposed to opinion editorials masquerading as news.
But then there’s the numbers game in terms of viewership that CNN is getting. When stacked up against other news outlets like Fox News and even MSNBC, CNN continues to lag behind in attracting viewers.
According to Nielsen data, practically every show on CNN failed to average 1 million viewers throughout the month of October. For the self-proclaimed “most trusted name in news,” this is a new low.
The 90-minute Biden town hall, which ranked third behind Fox News and MSNBC with just 1.2 million viewers, and the 30-minute “Cuomo Prime Time,” which aired immediately after with 1.1 million, were the only two outliers over the 31-day period.
CNN averaged a catastrophic 480,000 total-day viewers in October, a massive 76% loss from January. In October, Fox News averaged 1.4 million viewers, maintaining its total-day viewership from earlier this year, while MSNBC averaged 657,000 viewers, a 61% decline from January.
But there’s CNN’s primetime lineup, which can’t even attract half of the viewers MSNBC gets. October data shows that CNN’s primetime programs average 733,000 viewers – a 78% decline since January – while MSNBC averaged 1.5 million viewers. Fox News, however, still reigns supreme, pulling in 2.6 million viewers for their primetime lineup.