CNN president Jeff Zucker can’t relive past ‘Today’ success as ‘New Day’ ratings on life support

CNN President Jeff Zucker once captivated morning viewers when he oversaw NBC’s “Today” in the era of Matt Lauer, but his new breakfast show, “New Day,” is an epic failure.

“Zucker masterminded a successful run for ‘Today’ at NBC … he was less driven at that time to force ideology into every aspect of programming. The ratings for ‘New Day’ are shockingly low, almost at the point where they are merely collecting viewers who are randomly cruising through a channel lineup,” DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News.

Zucker took the reigns of the network in January 2013. He is already well known for purposely hiding the truth and has used his position at the network as an opportunity to install increasingly left-wing journalists in the morning lineup. By June 2013, “New Day” emerged with anchors Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

It was hoped that “New Day” would be as successful as NBC’s “Today,” and there was so much hubbub around the premiere that even trade magazines swooned over the new set design. CNN hyped the launch by partnering with pop star Alicia Keys to create a jingle before the show premiered.

But even after all the fanfare, the show has apparently been an utter disaster. “New Day” has had abysmal ratings and is projected to finish its fourth straight year with less than 200,000 viewers in the target 25-54 age demographic.

After eight years, the struggle continues with less than 500,000 viewers tuning in on average for 11 weeks. Hosts Cuomo, Bolduan, and Pereira have been replaced with John Berman and the extremely liberal Brianna Keilar.

“Changing anchors frequently is part of the problem,” McCall said. “Keilar has a rather abrasive and smug style that might work better during a different daypart.  Anchors are not interchangeable between various dayparts. Katie Couric, for example, was well-received on ‘Today’ for years, but never got traction in the evening news chair at CBS.”

Keilar contributed to the show’s worst-rated week of 2021, with an average of only 433,000 viewers tuning in from July 5-11. In comparison, “FOX & Friends” attracted 1.1 million viewers.

The target demographic only managed a measly 76,000 viewers last week which was its worst week in the past seven years.

The dichotomy between Zucker’s successful run as executive producer for “Today” and the disaster that “New Day” has become is not simply “sheer incompetence,” according to NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck.

“Zucker’s ‘Today’ show was wildly successful for the way that it and other morning shows were structured with hard news, interviews, concerts, cooking,” he said adding that “New Day” has gone in a completely different direction.

“Zucker and his minions have made a conscious decision to operate based on division, hatred, and snark and doing so from the left. Brianna Keilar’s condescending and obnoxious monologues sure weren’t going to fix the ratings, no matter how Zucker and Resistance-types on Twitter felt about them,” Houck told Fox News.

“When it’s all about Trump and hating non-liberals, there’s only so many of those kinds of viewers to go around, and the reality is MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ has long been seen as the show for Beltway types,” Houck said.

“It is clear Zucker’s current approach is not working,” McCall said.


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