And the Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins-hosted show has the second lowest total viewership versus every version of predecessor, ”New Day“
“CNN This Morning” is the network’s lowest-rated morning show iteration in nearly a decade.
Since its Nov. 1, 2022 launch, “CNN This Morning” — hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins — has drawn in the lowest viewership among adults 25-54, the key demographic for cable news, and the second-lowest total viewership among each iteration of the network’s morning programming since “New Day” was launched in June 2013, according to Nielsen data.
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CNN chairman and CEO Chris Licht – following in the footsteps of his predecessor former CEO Jeff Zucker – rebooted the network’s morning show within under a year of his tenure as part of his goal of “reimagining” mornings – likely aiming to compete with “Morning Joe,” which Licht co-created in 2007 when he worked at MSNBC – and invested in the goal by shuffling primetime staple Lemon to the new show.
Despite this goal, the most current anchor trio has also sunk 18.6% in demo viewership as compared to “New Day’s” original launch in 2013, even as total viewership for “CNN This Morning” has increased by 30.2%.
For a more recent comparison, within just over the show’s first three months, “CNN This Morning” was down 16.2% in total viewers and was down 21% in the demo compared to the most recent iteration of “New Day,” which ended in late October 2022.
“‘CNN This Morning’ is off to a great start, seeing double-digit audience growth in just three months on air, which is quite an accomplishment for a young show,” a CNN spokesperson told TheWrap. “With the show’s simulcast on HLN, ‘CNN This Morning’ is reaching significantly more people than its predecessor and is regularly beating its competition in the demo.”
Here, we take a closer look at each iteration of the network’s morning show anchor trios and duos, beginning with “New Day’s” June 2013 launch, to see how “CNN This Morning” is stacking up with its predecessors just after hitting its first three months.
2013: CNN launches “New Day” in June with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira
Under a year after Zucker took over as president of CNN Worldwide in January 2013, the new CNN boss launched “New Day,” a morning show set to replace the Soledad O’Brien-hosted “Starting Point.” Led by trio Chris Cuomo, who had made his debut at the network just months before; Michaela Pereira, who joined the network as a “New Day” host from local network KTLA; and Kate Bolduan, a relative veteran at the network compared to her colleagues after joining CNN in 2007.
From “New Day’s” June 13, 2013 launch to its final program with the three hosts on Dec. 28, 2014, the Cuomo/Bolduan/Periera iteration started from scratch with a total average viewership of 305,000 total viewers and 102,000 viewers in the advertiser coveted key demo.
2014: Ratings rise as Bolduan steps out and Camerota steps in
A year and a half later, CNN shuffled its trio around, replacing Bolduan with Alisyn Camerota, who co-anchored “New Day” several times after moving from Fox News to CNN before joining as a full-time anchor.
Between Dec. 29, 2014 and Dec. 25, 2016, the Cuomo/Camerota/Pereira combination boosted “New Day” to average 435,000 total viewers and 136,000 viewers in the key demo over the two year period — marking a 42.6% increase in total viewership and a 33.3% uptick in the demo.
2016: “New Day” hits peak as Cuomo/Camerota duo reigns
After Pereira left CNN to join CNN’s sister network HLN, Cuomo and Camerota continued on as a duo — marking “New Day’s” first foray into the double anchor style. The switch evidently paid off as “New Day” hit its highest ratings of the show’s existence.
During its two year period, the Cuomo/Camerota duo was responsible for a 38.8% uptick in total viewers and a 52.2% increase in viewers in the demo as compared to from Cuomo/Camerota/Pereira iteration with an average total viewership of 604,000 and average demo viewership of 207,000 from Dec. 26, 2016 and Dec. 30, 2018.
2018: Ratings slow as Berman swaps in for Cuomo
With several years under his belt at CNN, Zucker shifted Cuomo from the “New Day” line-up to give him his own primetime show, “Cuomo Primetime.” While the primetime lineup strengthened with the shake up, “New Day’s” ratings progress halted as John Berman stepped up to co-host the show alongside Camerota.
From Berman/Camerota’s run from Dec. 31, 2018 to Dec. 27, 2020, the pairing averaged 586,000 total viewers — down 2.98% from Cuomo/Camerota’s numbers — and 149,000 viewers in the demo, a 28% decrease as compared to Cuomo/Camerota.
2020: Another duo pairing sees sustained fall
Another two years later, the network swapped out Camerota, who soon went on to co-host daytime staple “CNN Newsroom,” for Brianna Kielar, who joined the network in 2018.
Within the iteration’s programming from Dec. 28, 2020 to Oct. 28, 2022, the Kielar/Berman pairing averaged a total viewership of 474,000 and a viewership of 105,000 in the demo — down 19.1% in total viewership and down 29.5% in viewership in the demo compared to Berman/Camerota’s ratings.
2023: Licht’s “CNN This Morning” reboot falters
Several months into new CNN boss Chris Licht’s reign, Licht tapped Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow to lead what would become “CNN This Morning,” which was slated to replace “New Day” beginning Nov. 1, 2022. Lemon, who was shifted from his primetime gig, “Don Lemon Tonight,” was undoubtedly part of Licht’s goal to make CNN “a disrupter of the broadcast morning shows in this space.”
Despite the intention, the new show has faltered with the lowest demo ratings and the second-lowest total viewership of all “New Day” iterations listed above. As of Tuesday, “CNN This Morning” averaged 397,000 total viewers and 83,000 viewers in the demo on CNN.
“CNN This Morning” has something “New Day” didn’t: It’s also simulcast to HLN, CNN’s sister network. The simulcast gives the show a boost to average 453,000 total viewers and 99,000 viewers in the demo. Since the simulcast launch on Dec. 6, 2022, it has beaten MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” six out of the nine weeks.
Loree joined TheWrap as a reporter in 2022 after interning at the publication during the summer of 2021. Loree has covered entertainment, film and television for TheWrap and has reported on the media industry and the cable news beat. She has also written for MovieMaker Magazine, where she interned in 2020.