CNN Axes Morning Show Amid Ratings Slump

CNN, one of the most prominent names in cable news, has announced the discontinuation of one of its morning shows, marking a significant change in its programming lineup. The decision comes amidst a period of declining viewership for cable news networks, a trend that predates the political upheavals of recent years.

The morning show, cohosted by Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly, has been a casualty of CNN’s broader strategy realignment in its morning news programming. CEO Mark Thompson conveyed the decision to disband the team responsible for producing CNN This Morning in New York to the network’s staff on Monday, as reported by Variety. Thompson emphasized that this change reflects a shift in strategic direction rather than a reflection on the talent and dedication of the New York-based teams.

The move has understandably raised concerns about job losses, although Thompson assured employees that they would be encouraged to apply for new roles in Atlanta, Washington, DC, and other positions within the network. However, the exact number of roles affected by these changes remains uncertain.

CNN’s decision comes against the backdrop of a challenging period for cable news networks. Since President Joe Biden took office, CNN, like its counterparts, has grappled with dwindling viewership. According to the Los Angeles Times, CNN’s average viewership in 2023 hit its lowest point since 2014, with only MSNBC experiencing an increase in viewership among the three major cable news networks. Even Fox News, traditionally dominant in the ratings, faced its worst year since 2015 following the departure of prime-time host Tucker Carlson.

This decline in ratings is not the only challenge CNN has faced in recent times. The network has garnered attention for the departures of several high-profile personalities. In April 2023, CNN fired Don Lemon amidst controversy over his comments regarding Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley. The departure of media correspondent Brian Stelter and White House correspondent John Harwood followed, as part of an effort to reduce perceived partisan coverage. Former CEO Jeff Zucker’s resignation in 2022, due to a failure to disclose a romantic relationship with another senior executive, further shook the network. His successor, Chris Licht, who oversaw subsequent departures, also resigned in 2023 amidst declining ratings.

The upheavals at CNN reflect broader challenges facing traditional media in an era of rapidly evolving news consumption habits and intensifying competition from digital platforms. As cable news networks navigate these turbulent waters, strategic shifts and restructuring efforts like the one announced by CNN may become more common as they strive to adapt to changing audience preferences and market dynamics.

H/T Free Beacon

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