After 1 Week Without Trump At The Helm, CNN’s Primetime Ratings Stumble

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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CNN’s primetime ratings dropped sharply in the first week without former President Donald Trump at the helm of  the country, according to data from Nielsen and Variety.

The network flourished amid the 2020 election in November, garnering a 135% growth in total viewership compared to the same time last year and beating out Fox News and MSNBC in the key 25-54 age demographic, according to the data. CNN also broke out during election week specifically, winning against competitors with an average of 5.9 million viewers.

These ratings, however, may be short-lived. For the week of Jan. 25-29 – the first week of President Joe Biden’s tenure – CNN saw its primetime ratings drop about 44% for total audience compared to the week prior, according to data analyzed by Variety Intelligence Platform.

During this week, CNN did still lead the competition in the key demographic for the 10 p.m. hour and beat out Fox News in the demographic for 9 p.m., the data shows. However, the numbers for the key demographic declined sharply, with “Cuomo Prime Time” seeing its audience falling by more than half, according to Variety.

Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was the one program that saw a slight increase in the demographic, according to the data. (RELATED: CNN Hits Three-Years Ratings Low Amid Impeachment Drama)

Variety Intelligence Platform analyzed viewership data using the key demographic and the total audience numbers, according to the report. While rivals like Fox News saw a slight ratings dip as well, it was not nearly as significant as CNN’s, Variety reported.

CNN’s sharp plummet for the last week in January backs some media experts’ belief that a Biden White House could be bad for TV. However, Trump’s impeachment trial is slated to begin in early February, bringing him back into the spotlight for cable news, as Variety noted.