CNN’s Brian Stelter has lowest-rated month of 2021, hasn’t averaged one-million viewers since March

World News

Media top headlines September 28

In media news today, Chris Cuomo’s sexual harassment accuser says the CNN host hasn’t changed since groping her, ‘The View’ addresses their COVID testing fiasco, and sources say a female CNN producer exited ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ after feeling ‘threatened’ by the namesake anchor

CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Brian Stelter finished September with its smallest monthly audience of the year.

“Reliable Sources” averaged only 738,000 viewers during the month as Stelter’s struggles continued in the Biden era. The dismal turnout was the program’s lowest-rated month of 2021 among total viewers. The audience has dropped 59% since January and shed 18% of its August viewership. 

CNN’s Brian Stelter finished September with his smallest monthly audience of the year.(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

The program, which claims to cover the media industry but often overlooks stories that are harmful to liberal news organizations, also hit a yearly low in the category most coveted by advertisers. “Reliable Sources” averaged only 130,000 viewers among the key demographic of adults age 25-54 during September, a staggering 67% drop from January. 

“Reliable Sources” has now failed to average one million viewers for six straight months and finished September as the No. 18 cable news show among total viewers on weekends alone. 

Stelter, who is known by critics as the media’s “janitor” for his defense of its failings, failed to mention a sexual harassment allegation against colleague Chris Cuomo on the most recent episode of “Reliable Sources.” That came after Stelter spent much of 2021 downplaying the journalistic ethics violations made by Cuomo, who was repeatedly swept up in the scandals plaguing his brother, former New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

Stelter also ignored the explosive viral spat rapper Nicki Minaj had with MSNBC host Joy Reid earlier this month when the two feuded over vaccine hesitancy. He managed to address Minaj’s tweets expressing concern about the vaccine but tip-toed around Reid’s involvement and instead condemned the rapper for using “do your own research” rhetoric, which he called the “four little words that are hurting America’s pandemic response.” 

"Reliable Sources" averaged only 738,000 viewers in September. 

The CNN media program has developed a reputation for focusing only on news that puts a negative light on Republicans and conservative news organizations while rarely mentioning issues at CNN and MSNBC. 

Over the summer, Stelter failed to mention CNN’s awkward return of the network’s disgraced legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, the departure of “The View” co-host Meghan McCain,” the uproar over New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay calling the sight of American flags “disturbing,” and the collapsed media narrative during the 2020 election that President Trump ordered the clearing of peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square for a photo op in front of a riot-damaged church.

Stelter also glossed over the Washington Post’s major correction of its January report that accused Trump of urging Georgia election officials to “find the fraud,” the major MSNBC leadership shakeup, Toobin’s firing from The New Yorker following his Zoom call masturbation scandal, the ousting of MSNBC contributor Jon Meacham after it was revealed that he was moonlighting as a speechwriter for the Joe Biden campaign, and the scandals that plagued 2020 media darlings The Lincoln Project.

In 2019, Stelter completely avoided the revelation that ABC News had spiked an investigation into convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. 

Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” averaged 1.3 million total viewers and 203,000 among the demo to trounce “Reliable Sources” in both categories. 

All data courtesy of Nielsen Media Research. 

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.  

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