CNN’s media-centric show “Reliable Sources” hosted by Brian Stelter had its worst-rated episode since September 2019.
Stelter’s show logged just 580,000 last Sunday, and a mere 73,000 viewers in the all-important 25-to-54-year-old demographic, Fox News reported. The show lost 13% of the total audience and it marked Stelter’s smallest audience since Sept. 15, 2019.
“MediaBuzz,” which airs at the same time on Fox News, averaged 1.4 million total viewers and 189,000 in the 25-54 demo, crushing Stelter’s show, which has been under a microscope since Chris Licht, CNN’s new boss, took the helm in May.
Licht, who succeeded Jeff Zucker as president after a slew of scandals at the network, has not only been tasked with amping up CNN”s ratings, but also focusing the network’s shows on fact-based reporting and less on opinion.
According to a recent Axios report, Licht is evaluating whether CNN’s staffers can adjust to the new approach. Anyone who doesn’t fall in line “could be ousted,” according to the report.
The report did not mention whether any specific CNN anchors were under particular scrutiny, but it did note that Stelter and Jim Acosta were among the personalities whose left-leaning viewpoints have drawn the ire of conservatives.
“To conservative critics, some on-air personalities, like Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, have become the face of the network’s liberal shift,” Axios wrote.
Prior to Licht’s arrival, CNN’s new corporate parent Warner Bros. Discovery pulled the plug on CNN+ in April, just a month after the expensive streaming service was launched. Stelter’s daily version of “Reliable Sources” was among the shows canceled as a result of CNN+ being dropped.