CNN is facing yet another setback as anchor Anderson Cooper’s ratings plummet during the 9 pm ET timeslot.
According to Mediaite, Cooper’s show garnered only 637,000 total viewers, while Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show managed to pull in a whopping 3.09 million total viewers. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, in comparison, scored 1.25 million viewers.
Mediaite also reported that on the same Monday, Fox News averaged 1.59 million total viewers, while CNN averaged only 507,000 and MSNBC had 922,000. Fox News also had a much higher rating in the key demographic of viewers aged 25-54. These latest figures are bad news for the struggling network, which is also dealing with the Don Lemon controversy.
CNN anchor Don Lemon has been in the spotlight recently after making sexist remarks about Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley. Although there have been calls for his firing, he has apparently survived and will undergo “formal training” for sexism before returning to the airwaves.
CNN CEO Chris Licht stated, “It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes. To that end, Don will return to CNN This Morning on Wednesday,” as reported by The First TV.
Lemon criticized Haley for endorsing “mandatory mental competency tests” for politicians aged 75 and older, stating that Haley was no longer in her “prime” and suggesting that she would face a difficult challenge in winning the presidency.
Lemon used Google to support his argument that women are only considered to be in their prime during their “20s, 30s, and 40s.” This led to a negative reaction from co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins. Collins was apparently “rattled” by Lemon in an off-camera confrontation with him earlier this month, where he “screamed” at her for allegedly interrupting him on the air, according to a report from the New York Post.
It is not clear if Lemon’s training course will address the incident with Collins. The Post reported that the argument between Lemon and Collins occurred after the show’s Thursday, Dec. 8 broadcast. Lemon “screamed” at Collins in front of staffers, accusing her of interrupting him on air.
CNN CEO Chris Licht was “appalled” by Lemon’s behavior, according to a source, and a producer told Lemon to take the next day off to “cool off.” Although Lemon apologized for his “inartful and irrelevant” comments, CNN is facing mounting criticism for allowing these incidents to continue.