CNN in chaos: Lemon’s talk ratings and Licht look to Barkley, King to save him

Chris Licht’s tenure at CNN has been nothing short of disappointing. with a promise per Tone down With Ledger’s focus on just a few stories a day, partisan sensationalism, and Jeffrey Zucker’s reign of terror dominating, Licht suggests wholesale changes were in order.

He has not yet failed, but the inmates are in charge of the asylum (although lay off And her out John Harwood And Brian Stelter) and its top programming changes CNN this morning Has been surrounded by infighting and unprepared ratings.

And, as such, Licht has been roaming the desert reshaping his primetime schedule and in recent weeks, according to Puck’s Dylan Byers, has included overtures of CBS Morning co-host and Democratic donors Gayle King and TNT’s Charles Barkley NBA.

First, CNN’s Morning Mess. Licht announcement Nine years later on September 15, new day After dubbing will be canceled in favor of what was there CNN this morning Don with lemon take a declination from weekday primetime to team up with longtime fellow CNNer Poppy Harlow and chief White House correspondent Caitlan Collins.

Byers Note that that show The pitch was funny as “Three Real, Real-Life Friends” Between serving the news and Collins taking giant leaps And with little respite between the announcement and their November 1 launch, the show flopped.

After it debuted to moderate viewership, it continued to decline. A The story of February 2 in The New York Post revealed that, on December 8, Lemon berated Collins after the show Repeatedly interrupting him. The post said Collins became emotional and fled the set and has since kept contact with her to a minimum.

Tuesday’s show The proof given has changed slightly As Lemon subtly trashed Collins for an interview with Congressman Jim Comer (R-KY).

Laurie Seitz and Joseph Capps of The Wrap wrote That train wreck on Friday was CNN’s “lowest-rated morning show repeat in nearly a decade” and “lowest viewership among adults 24-54…since ‘New Day’ launched in June 2013, according to Nielsen data.”

“[W]Through the show’s first three months, ‘CNN This Morning’ was down 16.2% in total viewers and down 21% in the demo compared to the most recent iteration of ‘New Day,’ which ended in late October 2022,” they added.

They created a timeline of four iteration ratings new day (Click “Expand”):

2013: CNN launches “New Day” in June with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira


Since “New Day’s” June 13, 2013 finale program debut with three hosts on December 28, 2014, the Cuomo/Bolduan/Perriera repeat has drawn 305,000 total viewers and an average viewership of 102,000 viewers in the coveted key demo.

2014: Ratings rise as Bolduan departs and Camerota moves on


Between Dec. 29, 2014 and Dec. 25, 2016, the Cuomo/Camerota/Pereira combination boosted “New Day” to an average of 435,000 total viewers and 136,000 viewers in the key demo over the two-year span — a 42% total increase. 33.3% increase in visitors and demos.

2016: “New Day” peaks as Cuomo/Camerota duo reign


During its two-year run, the Cuomo/Camerota duo accounted for a 38.8% increase in total viewers and a 52.2% increase in viewers in the demo compared to the Cuomo/Camerota/Pereira iteration with an average audience of 604,000 between December 26, 2016 and December 30, 2018 to 207,000 demo viewership.

2018: Ratings slow as Berman swaps Cuomo


From Dec. 31, 2018 to Dec. 27, 2020, the Berman/Camerota duo averaged 586,000 total viewers — 2.98% less than Cuomo/Camerota’s tally — and 149,000 viewers in the demo, a 28% drop compared to Camerota.


2020: Another [sic] Pairs survive [sic] Petni


In repeat programming from December 28, 2020 to October 28, 2022, Killer [sic]/Berman pairing had 474,000 total viewers and 105,000 in the demo — down 19.1% in total viewership and 29.5% down in the demo compared to Berman/Camerota’s ratings.

As for the subject matter, Licht faced an initial failure when his trial run with Jake Tapper on primetime never closesDuring which Byers said he There was a desire To tempt a (liberal) comedian like Jon Stewart. In January, Semaphore Report Wish it had some legs.

That did not come to fruition. As such, Byers reported on January 31 Licht moved To King (click “Expand”):

Licht is indeed on the lookout for great talent outside of cable news. In recent weeks, he has been in touch with Gayle King, its star CBS Morning, to pitch him to host or co-host a weekly show on CNN, sources familiar with the negotiations told me. Licht brought King to the CBS morning show a decade ago, when he was its executive producer, and the two remain close. The proposal currently under discussion would allow King to continue anchoring CBS Mornings while hosting a new weekly show for CNN—unlike Anderson Cooper with two networks, where he hosts a nightly show on CNN and also hosts one. Correspondent for CBS 60 minutes.

The king of prime time?

King’s appeal is obvious. He is a celebrity in his own right, with several landmark interviews on his resume. He’s a rare talent who would be as comfortable interviewing the family of Joe Biden or Tyree Nichols as he would be with Will Smith or Jennifer Lawrence. For that matter, he’s probably more likely than anyone in media to be CNN’s next Larry King (Gail King Live, anyone?). And, to the extent there is still a demand for this type of programming, a Gayle-centric interview series could provide a much-needed boost to CNN’s ratings and reputation.

Wednesday, Byers to give An update that “[t]Hose talks with King “ongoing” while Licht also holds “Talks with other on-air talents from the worlds of news, entertainment and sports who can host a weekly, news-oriented” To create a slightly different lineup for each night of the week.

Friday is provided Another bombshell from Byers in revealing Licht’s talks with Barkley, Licht’s pitch for personality on sister network TNT meant “Interviewing correspondents, journalists and other guests about various topics of the day.”

“The conceit is that a genuine, outspoken, often humorous personality like Barkley can be a bigger draw than the traditional self-serious correspondent and better suited to ask guests questions that average Americans actually care about.” Byers added, noting that it might seem “crazy” … but with Berkeley’s interest in politics and as a “media student,” it really isn’t.

Taking it all together, Licht adopted the strategy of throwing anything and everything at the wall and hoping something caught.