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Jake Tapper’s Primetime Debut at CNN Bombs Despite Interview with Biden – Market Subset News


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CNN host Jake Tapper opened his new primetime slot this week with an interview with the titular leader of the free world, but that did little to boost his ratings on the flagging legacy cable network.

Tapper managed to score an interview with President Joe Biden, but his ratings tanked anyway, according to Nielsen figures. In fact, Tapper’s program failed to attract a million viewers.

The New York Post reported:


“CNN Tonight” drew just 854,000 viewers during the 9 p.m. hour on Tuesday — less than a third of the more than 2.6 million people who tuned in to ratings leader Sean Hannity on Fox News, according to Nielsen figures.

Tapper’s total viewership was only slightly more than half of that drawn by Alex Wagner, whose MSNBC show generated 1.586 million viewers on Tuesday, according to Nielsen.

Warner Bros. Discovery-owned CNN and Tapper can take solace in the fact that his show finished in second place in the advertiser-coveted demographic of viewers between the ages of 25 and 54.

Tapper drew 211,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, beating out Wagner’s 144,000 viewers. Hannity reigned in that category as well, garnering 323,000 viewers, Nielsen figures show.

During the interview, Tapper waded into the subject of the president’s legal troubles: “Our reporting, CNN’s reporting, and The Washington Post reporting suggests that prosecutors think they could — they have enough, to charge your son, Hunter, for tax crimes, and a false statement about a gun purchase. Personally and politically, how do you react to that?”

“Well, first of all, I’m proud of my son. This is a kid, who got — not a kid, he’s a grown man. And he got hooked on, like many families have had happened, hooked on drugs,” the president began. “He’s overcome that. He’s established a new life. He is, I’m confident that he is — what he says, and does, are consistent with what happens. And, for example, he wrote a book about his problems and was straightforward about it. I’m proud of him.”

“He came along and said — by the way, this thing about a gun? I didn’t know anything about it. But turns out that when he made application, to purchase a gun, what happened was he said — I guess, you get asked — I don’t guess. You get asked the question, ‘Are you on drugs? You use drugs?’ He said, ‘No.’ And he wrote about saying ‘No,’ in his book,” Biden added. Tapper responded that, indeed, Hunter Biden did disclose that information in his book, “Beautiful Things.”

“So, I have great confidence in my son. I love him. And he’s on the straight and narrow, and he has been, for a couple years now,” the president concluded. “And I’m just so proud of him.”

Overall, CNN’s viewership remains dismal compared to other cable news offerings — and well behind leader Fox News. “Fox News averaged 1.77 million total viewers on Tuesday, well ahead of Comcast-owned MSNBC, which brought in 934,000 viewers. CNN finished in third place with 549,000 viewers,” The Post reported.

In fact, Fox News continues to smash ratings records as anchor Sean Hannity is now the longest-running prime-time cable news host.

“Fox News’ lowest-rated show in the advertiser-coveted 25-54 age demographic nearly doubled MSNBC’s highest-rated show in the demo on Tuesday,” Mediaite reported earlier this month. “Fox News not only swept the demo across all time slots, its lowest-rated show still outperformed CNN and MSNBC’s highest-rated program by a wide margin. Fox’s America Reports at 2 p.m. was its lowest performer in the demo, bringing in 221,000 viewers.”

Late last month, Hannity, who has been with Fox News since its launch in 1996, smashed another record after becoming a host for nearly 25 years and six months.

Fox News issued a statement celebrating the milestone, saying, “FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Sean Hannity has notched yet another industry milestone, becoming the longest-running primetime cable news host in television history. Today marks 25 consecutive years, six months, and 15 days at the helm of a primetime cable news program, breaking the previous longstanding record* held by the late talk show host Larry King. As cable news’ most enduring personality, Hannity has been a staple of FNC’s primetime lineup since the launch of the network in 1996, where his candid style and passionate commentary have made him one of the most prominent and influential voices in the country.”

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