CNN has long been the only major cable news network without a female primetime host and now the troubled network is having a hard time getting women to tune in.
CNN’s "Cuomo Prime Time" with embattled namesake Chris Cuomo shed significant female viewers following the bombshell report by New York Attorney General Letitia James that declared he advised his brother on how to fend off sexual harassment allegations.
The report concluded that soon-to-be-former Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and the CNN anchor was part of a group of trusted loyalists who helped strategize efforts to salvage his political career. Chris Cuomo’s role in the scandal presumably irked some potential female viewers many turned off the program.
"Cuomo Prime Time" averaged 488,000 female viewers on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week – the three episodes hosted by Chris Cuomo following the Tuesday attorney general report, as he took Friday off.
The turnout was a 41% decline from the year-to-date female viewership of "Cuomo Prime Time," while the program also lost 45% percent of female viewers compared to the same week in 2020. "Cuomo Prime Time" also lost 14% of the female viewers who tuned in during the second quarter of 2021.
CNN’s troubled anchor also lost significant female viewers among the advertiser demographic of adults age 25-54. "Cuomo Prime Time" averaged 86,000 female viewers among the key demo during the three episodes hosted by the program’s namesake last week, down 33% compared to the second quarter totals and down a stunning 56% compared to the 2021 average.
CNN’s Cuomo has since been away from the network on what has been called a long-planned vacation. As a result, he wasn’t around when his big brother announced this week that he would resign amid the sexual harassment allegations that he continues to deny. The CNN host has been slammed by people from all sides of the media industry over his role for what has been widely labeled a significant breach of journalism ethics.
However, a former CNN employee who worked closely with Chris Cuomo at times thinks the host will be allowed to return to his program.
"My guess would be when he comes back, they'll have him open the show with a short, brief, ‘This is why I'm not going to talk about the tough situation that my brother is going through right now. And I will not speak to this again. And now let's get after it,' and move on," Cuomo’s former CNN colleague told Fox News.
"You know, that's probably what's going to happen," the former CNN employee added. "I think it’ll be in the first couple of minutes of the show and he will use the, ‘I’m not really in a position … legal has advised me that I’m not allowed to speak on this. Standards and practices and management here has advised me that I’m not allowed to address this, you obviously understand that it’s a family issue. Family comes first.’"
Cuomo’s former CNN colleague predicted that the embattled anchor will quickly move on to the days non-Gov. Cuomo news but it would be "hard for him to not address it at all."
All data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research.