CNN’s marathon seven hour town hall on climate change placed LAST in viewership


CNN had a marathon town hall event on Wednesday that ran for seven hours. The focus was climate change and many of the Democratic presidential candidates took advantage of the time to share their views on the topic. The town hall started at 5:00 p.m. and went until midnight.

While CNN marketed the event as “unprecedented,” the network came in last place in total viewership between Fox News and MSNBC.

CNN averaged 1.1 million viewers during the event, compared to 1.7 million for liberal rival MSNBC while Fox News averaged 2.5 million viewers over the same time period with regular programming.

The network also finished last during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. EST. Fox News averaged 3.2 million viewers, followed by MSNBC’s average of 2.2 million while CNN settled for an average audience of 1.4 million primetime viewers.

Fox News dominated the key demographic of adults age 25-54 during both the 5 p.m.-12 a.m. window and primetime, but CNN’s lengthy event managed to edge MSNBC in the category. Fox News also averaged 418,000 demo viewers during CNN’s town hall, which drew 265,000 demo viewers to edge MSNBC’s 246,000.

At the end of their event, CNN host Don Lemon announced the network will be hosting another town hall with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to focus “on issues that are important to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.”

President Trump tweeted his reaction to climate change and stated that the United States has the largest reduction of carbon emissions.

Ratings issues are nothing new for CNN, which typically finishes well behind Fox News and MSNBC.

The most-watched show on CNN during the month of August was “Cuomo Prime Time,” which finished No. 23 overall behind 14 Fox News shows and eight MSNBC programs.

CNN will try again at the made-for-TV town hall events on Oct. 10, when the liberal network will host a similar discussion centered on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer issues. 2020 Democratic hopefuls are expected to be grilled on a variety of issues related to the LGBTQ community on the eve of National Coming Out Day.

All town hall ratings data are courtesy of early Nielsen Media Research.