Any momentum Chris Cuomo had in 2020 has grinded to a halt and thrown itself into reverse.
CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time averaged only 684,000 viewers last week, the program’s lowest since launching three years ago. In particular, Cuomo’s average among viewers in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25 to 54 also fell, down to 156,000.
Head-to-head, Fox News’ Sean Hannity averaged 3.486 million total viewers, while Rachel Maddow on MSNBC drew 1.915 million, per The Wrap. Thus, the 9 pm remains a strong time slot for cable news hosts not named Chris Cuomo.
What’s more, Anderson Cooper surpassed Cuomo last week as CNN’s highest-rated host with a total of 774,000 viewers at 8 pm. It’s stunning to see Cooper now lead the pack after years of steady decline.
Chris Cuomo, however, could have the chance to rebound this summer. Should Rachel Maddow depart from MSNBC’s daily lineup in the first quarter of 2022, industry experts predict MSNBC’s reach will drop significantly in the 9 pm hour. Obviously, those viewers won’t migrate to Hannity. Could they head in Cuomo’s direction? Maybe.
Still, Cuomo’s long-term future at CNN remains a question. CNN could calculate that Cuomo, embroiled now in his own sexual harassment scandal, is no longer worth the risk when his contract expires. While I’m not rooting for CNN to move on from anyone, one could argue that several pundits on CNN’s bench could draw viewership equal to Cuomo at a lower salary and without the baggage. And an upside vs. downside comparison does not favor Cuomo anymore.
Nielsen Media Research ratings data found that Cuomo’s ratings started to dip immediately after his brother, Andrew Cuomo, resigned as governor of New York. This guy has lost steam. How could that be?