CNN’s Trump Town Hall Pushed Liberals Away From Network, Tanking Ratings Further

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CNN’s town hall with former President Trump didn’t go over well with staffers. Leaks of disgruntled employees continue to surface weeks later.

The event also didn’t satisfy viewers. The mostly liberal viewers, that is.

The primetime hours of CNN, 8-11 pm, have declined 32 percent since the town hall — from 581,000 to 395,000. CNN recorded its lowest primetime average since May 2014 the week following the event.

CNN recorded its lowest primetime average, 371,000, since May 2014 the week following the event.

More concerning, viewership in the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54 has decreased by 28 percent since the town hall on May 11.

“The network’s performance among the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54 was even gloomier, as CNN managed only 73,000 average demo viewers the week following the Trump event. The meager total was CNN’s smallest average audience in the critical category since July 2000,” Fox News Digital reports.

As OutKick explained the following day, the town hall alienated viewers on both sides.

Trump supporters did not flock back to the channel at the rate CNN hoped. Mostly, conservatives found moderator Kaitlan Collins nauseating.

Meanwhile, liberals accused the network of enabling a right-wing lunatic to spread falsehoods that threaten the future of democracy.

In short, CNN lost more support on the Left than it gained on the Right. That combination results in lower than previous averages, as has been the case.

That certainly doesn’t make the decision to host the leading Republican nominee foul. News networks should give a voice to and question presidential candidates, be they Republican or Democrat.

But business-wise, CNN must mitigate a scenario in which neither side of the political aisle is fond of the brand.

Conservatives still consider CNN a Left of center operation. Yet liberals continue to rage over the network’s programming decision weeks later:

CNN is less Left than previously. It’s certainly less Left than MSNBC. But it’s not in the middle, or all that credible.

We recently described the hosts as toned-down versions of Rachel Maddow without the chops or charisma.


CNN hosts are self-righteous. They remain firmly in a bubble disassociated from society at large. They hold themselves up as authorities despite their objectively unimpressive track records. See Covid,

At this point, the channel has waning support from the Left, Right, center, and from within. There’s minimal market demand for the type of brand CNN has become.

That’s a daunting task for CEO Chris Licht to overcome. He has deployed Kaitlan Collins, the town hall moderator, to be the face of the network as the permanent 9 pm host.

However, Collins is only 31. And has yet to prove she can attract an audience. Licht hopes she can overcome the odds.

CNN needs her to. The network needs someone to.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.

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