The show “Reliable Sources” on CNN with the left-leaning host Brian Stelter suffered its lowest-rated episode since at least September 2019 on the 12th of June, when a mere 580,000 viewers sat down to watch the struggling program.
Ratings were also doing bad five months ago:
“Reliable Sources” also had trouble with the advertiser segment of adults aged 25-54, averaging only 73,000 viewers in the critical category. The program of Stelter has lost around 13% of the audience that viewed the program that precedes it, “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” and has lost about 25% of Zakaria’s viewers among that demographic. This was the smallest audience for Stelter since September 15, 2019.
The media affairs program of Stelter has been trying to ignore the discordant lack of coverage the press has given to the failed assassination attempt on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN were all fiercely criticized by conservatives for minimizing or overlooking the alarming incident, but Stelter paid no attention to the story.
The Sunday morning news shows, which are well-known for summarizing the week, gave Kavanaugh the silent treatment as ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’s “Face the Nation,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CNN’s “State of the Union” also entirely skipped the topic, focusing rather heavily on the January 6 committee hearings.
Stelter made no reference to the lack of coverage revolving around the threat against Kavanaugh.
“MediaBuzz,” which airs concurrently on Fox News, averaged about 1.4 million viewers and 189,000 among the demo to overwhelm “Reliable Sources” in both categories.
Last week, both CNN’s Stelter and his colleague Jim Acosta were named the “face of the network’s liberal shift” to the conservatives. CNN’s recently appointed president and CEO, Chris Licht, had recently informed staffers that he would “double down on what works well and quickly eliminate what doesn’t,” and there have since been persistent questions about which programs or personalities would be removed.
An Axios report quoted “three sources close to the matter” who stated that Licht was evaluating whether staff members could adapt to the less controversial approach, and anyone who was found not to fall in line “could be ousted” so as not to continue to hurt the reputation of CNN. Licht examines the operations of the entire network in the first few weeks of his tenure.
“To conservative critics, some on-air personalities, like Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, have become the face of the network’s liberal shift,” Axios’ Sara Fischer wrote.
An insider at CNN stated that Fischer simply noticed that Stelter and Acosta were actually being targeted by the right, and that they were not specifically identified as being on the chopping block. However, it is believed that the partisan approach of Stelter is the opposite of what Licht foresees CNN to be like once he puts his stamp on the network.
CNN canceled the awaited CNN+ in April, just weeks after the expensive streaming service launched. The daily Stelter’s version of “Reliable Sources” was among the shows canceled in the wake of CNN+’s abandonment.