New Day CNN

Morning program has fallen off after competitive start, but it has improved its timeslot for the net

CNN has made much-needed ratings strides this summer, but its new morning program “New Day” — a pet project of CNN’s new president Jeff Zucker — hasn’t been able to gain that much traction.

This week, despite exclusive interviews with Prince William on Monday and Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, the show has posted its lowest numbers yet — finishing well behind rivals Fox News and MSNBC.

“New Day” seemed to be hanging in there earlier this summer, beating or finishing neck-and-neck with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in the adults 25-54 demo for its first five weeks, according to Nielsen, but it has not been competitive since.

On a positive note, CNN is faring better with “New Day” than what “Starting Point” was doing a year ago, up more than 30% in key categories from the historic lows for the network at the time. In fact in the 25-54 demo, CNN is the only cable news network morning show up vs. the same period a year ago.

But with all the pre-launch hoopla for “New Day,” including a shiny new studio for the show and the naming of former ABC News anchor and reporter Chris Cuomo as co-anchor, expectations were elevated,

Looking at the Nielsen estimates for Monday through Wednesday of this week, “New Day” was averaging just 74,000 adults 25-54 — well below the 229,000 for FNC’s “Fox and Friends” and the 117,000 for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” It was also 26% lower than the 100,000 the network drew the previous week, which had been the ratings floor for the show prior to this week.

In total viewers, CNN (252,000 viewers) lagged well behind the 359,000 of “Morning Joe” and was about one-fourth of the 1.02 million for “Fox and Friends.”

These numbers come even though “New Day” on Monday had an exclusive interview with Prince William, the first TV chat with the new father following the birth of royal baby George. But that turned out to be a royal disappointment in the ratings, as the show hit an all-time low in both the demo (60,000) and total viewers (216,000).

An interview with Zuckerberg didn’t do much either on Wednesday. In a big week of “gets” for “New Day,” the net had an exclusive interview with President Obama this morning.

For its first 10-plus weeks, “New Day” was averaging 308,000 viewers and 111,000 adults 25-54, according to Nielsen.

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