CNN’s new, highly marketed morning show, co-hosted by Don Lemon, proved to be a ratings blunder in its Tuesday debut.
“CNN This Morning,” which replaced the left-wing network’s previous morning show “New Day” garnered a mere 387,000 viewers in its premiere, per Nielsen ratings.
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The morning show’s competition on other cable networks did much better, with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” attracting nearly 800,000 viewers and Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” amassing 1.5 million in its TV audience.
The New York Post reports that “CNN This Morning” was the lowest-rated show on Tuesday.
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The new morning show is long-time CNN host Don Lemon’s new gig after the network cut his show “Don Lemon Tonight” from their primetime lineup this summer.
Lemon called the change a “promotion,” despite the fact that his old show averaged nearly 700,000 viewers a night, which is almost two times more than his morning show premiere. Additionally, Lemon now has to share the news desk with two other hosts, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
Lemon’s time slot change is a part of new CNN CEO Chris Licht’s overhaul of the network due to poor ratings. Licht removed “Reliable Sources With Brian Stelter” from the network’s lineup in August, and CNN recently announced Jake Tapper will lose his primetime slot after the midterm elections.
National radio host Todd Starnes was not at all surprised by the failure of Lemon’s show.
“Turns out Americans don’t want to wake up with Don Lemon,” Starnes said in response to the ratings.
Concerning the morning show’s disappointing debut, a CNN spokesperson called criticism of the new show “absurd and cheap,” according to the New York Post.
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“There’s not a morning show on television today that was a ratings success on day one,” the spokesperson insisted. “Reporting on ratings failures or successes of an entirely new program after a single day is absurd and cheap.”
The spokesperson continued, “That’s not the way this works. We’re entirely focused on developing a smart, compelling and relevant show that’s already having outsized impact. Anyone pushing an alternative narrative knows what a threat this talent lineup is.”