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Newsmax beats CNN in prime time viewership amid conservative TV shakeup

CNN rejected Donald Trump’s claim that he’d been defamed by its on-air personalities’ comparisons of the former president to Hitler for his attempts to overturn the election and remain in power. (Dreamstime/TNS)
May 18, 2023

On Friday from 8 to 11 p.m., CNN prime time dropped to 335,000 average total viewers, placing it below Newsmax, which had 357,000 average prime time viewers. The ratings-troubled network logged in at fourth place in prime time, behind rival Fox News with an average of 1.44 million and MSNBC with an average of 1.08 million.

According to Mediaite, the poorly performing news network faired a tad better with 87,000 average viewers in the key demographic age group of 25 – 54 and was up in the demographic in comparison to the previous four reported Fridays. Their top rival Fox came in first with 109,000 and MSNBC placed second averaging 98,000 key demographic viewers. However, Newsmax only logged in an average of 45,000 prime time key demographic viewers.

According to the Daily Mail, former Fox News host and current Newsmax host, Eric Bolling, averaged more than 20,000 more viewers than CNN star Anderson Cooper. The low ratings come after CNN had one of its best weeks in viewership just last week when they hosted a town hall with former President Donald Trump.

Newly hired CNN boss, Chris Licht, responded to the criticism after the network hosted Trump, saying, “You do not have to like the former president’s answers, but you can’t say that we didn’t get them. While we all may have been uncomfortable hearing people clapping, that was also an important part of the story because the people in that audience represent a large swath of America. The mistake the media made in the past is ignoring that those people exist just like you cannot ignore that President Trump exists.”

“I absolutely unequivocally believe America was served very well by what we did last night. I absolutely unequivocally believe America was served very well by what we did last night,” he added.

Earlier this week, special counsel John Durham’s report on a years-long investigation into the U.S. government’s response to the 2016 Trump-Russia collusion hoax was released, prompting CNN’s Jake Tapper to say the report “does exonerate Donald Trump.”