For something, prime-time hosts don’t always need to be the universal cultural figures they when were — and incomes can be changed down appropriately. And the night does not always need to be booked for examining the day’s news. Producers can try out documentaries and other nonfiction shows that might draw larger audiences.
Typically, prime-time audiences tune in by appointment, anticipating to see a familiar face talk about the news of the day. But CNN said last month that it would fill its empty 9 p.m. slot with a mélange of one-off specials and periodic cameos by unconventional hosts like the previous basketball star Charles Barkley.
The network’s brand-new president, Chris Licht, has actually provided this method as bringing “fresh and unique perspectives to the news,” however it’s likewise an acknowledgment that the hunger for existing occasions at nights has actually subsided.
CNN’s 9 p.m. audiences fell after Chris Cuomo, when the network’s highest-rated anchor, was fired in 2021. Last fall, Mr. Licht attempted restoring the 9 p.m. slot by momentarily moving Mr. Tapper from 4 p.m. After simply 6 weeks, and disappointing rankings, Mr. Tapper went back to the afternoons, where his program, “The Lead,” now routinely draws in more audiences than CNN’s night programs.
At MSNBC, the long-running 9 p.m. program “The Rachel Maddow Show” was so popular in the Trump years that it quickly raised MSNBC’s prime-time viewership above that of Fox News — the cable television news rankings king — in the crucial 25-to-54 age market.
But MSNBC concurred in 2015 that Ms. Maddow might minimize her hosting tasks to simply when a week, on Mondays. Her replacement from Tuesday to Friday, the political expert Alex Wagner, has actually beaten CNN in overall viewership, however her 2023 rankings are tracking about 30 percent lower than what Ms. Maddow attracted the very first quarter of in 2015.
Ratings in January might have been impacted by the breaking stories that played out throughout daytime hours, consisting of the fight for the House speakership, the Alex Murdaugh murder trial and the drama over a Chinese spy balloon. Still, in February, Mr. Melber and Mr. Tapper stayed practically connected for the premier programs on their networks, an indication of remaining power.