Discovery’s CNN Challenge: Inheriting a Global News Giant Amid Cable Ratings Decline

Discovery CEO David Zaslav will have a plateful with CNN: shaky ratings, anchor shakeups and falling cable news viewership. Then there’s Jeff Zucker.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav is not only taking over CNN once his company completes a merger with AT&T’s WarnerMedia, he’s also inheriting a news channel that’s losing audience as the Trump era recedes.

The good news is that this year CNN continues to be the top cable network in the advertiser-coveted age demographic of 25 to 54 in total-day ratings — but mired in third place for total average viewers, particularly in primetime, behind rivals Fox News and MSNBC. In the demo and total viewers, it’s already beating would-be sister networks from Discovery, HGTV, ID and the Food Network.

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Lindsey Ellefson

Media reporter • lindsey.ellefson@thewrap.com • Twitter: @ellefs0n