Slow Start CNN's Afternoon Show with

The 400,000 viewers for 'The Lead' is 30% lower than what the network averaged in the timeslot

Jeff Zucker faces an uphill battle to make CNN a ratings winner, and the early returns aren’t encouraging for the new afternoon show hosted by one of his big recruits, Jake Tapper.

The premiere of “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” fronted by the former White House correspondent for ABC News, averaged a soft 400,000 viewers in its 4 p.m. ET debut, according to Nielsen. That placed it third among the cable news networks, with Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” drawing 1.1 million and Martin Bashir’s eponymous MSNBC show averaging about 480,000.

Similar order stood in the adults 25-54 demo, with FNC (172,000) besting MSNBC (100,000) and CNN (87,000).

The Lead with Jake Tapper” came in down 30% from CNN’s year-to-date total-viewer average in the 4 p.m. ET hour and was 40% lower in the 25-54 demo.

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