The Numbers Are In: Trump’s Exit From The World Stage Led To A Network Ratings Bloodletting

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Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Former President Donald Trump’s departure from the White House has coincided with a sharp decline in viewership for numerous primetime cable news shows, a VIP analysis showed.

The size of the audience watching “CNN Tonight With Don Lemon” between March 1-5 was down by -32.5% compared to the average audience between Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2020, before President Joe Biden’s inauguration and Trump’s impeachment trial, VIP showed in its analysis.

CNN shows appeared to suffer the most sizable slumps for audience numbers in that time period. “Anderson Cooper 360” had its average audience decrease by -32.2%, while “Cuomo Prime Time” saw a -28.5% decrease, according to the report. (RELATED: After 1 Week Without Trump At The Helm, CNN’s Primetime Ratings Stumble)

“All In With Chris Hayes,” featured on MSNBC, had its audience reduced by -16.7%, and “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” also on MSNBC, had a decrease of -17.6%, VIP reported.

Fox News was not immune from the post-election impact either, although it was not as pronounced as CNN’s or MSNBC’s. “The Ingraham Angle’s” audience decreased by -9.2%, “Hannity’s” decreased by -11.9%, and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” saw a -4.8% decrease, according to the analysis.

CNN and MSNBC’s decline for 9 p.m. primetime shows was especially noticeable after the impeachment trial was over in mid-February, the analysis showed. “Cuomo Prime Time” saw a -31.3% decrease after the impeachment trial was over. The show had seen a brief 7.7% bump during impeachment week. “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC experienced a similar trend, with a 10.1% boost during impeachment week, but a -22.3% audience slump after the trial ended.

The Capitol Building riot in January also impacted ratings, especially among the 25-54 age demographic. Anderson Cooper and Tucker Carlson were competitive in the first week of December, and Cooper’s show saw an audience bump with that age demographic in the few days following the Jan. 6 riot. But after Trump left office, Cooper soon began to trail Carlson.