Accuracy in Media

After a promising debut, CNN’s new version of Crossfire has quickly tanked in the ratings. It took less than two weeks, as viewers got a longer look at the program.

CNN-Crossfire-SyriaCrossfire’s ratings actually declined from the programming it replaced, The Situation Room, which surrendered its final half hour to make room for the new program.

The ratings fell 14 percent in total viewers for the timeslot and, more importantly, seven percent  in the key 25-54 demographic.

Overall Crossfire placed 14th among 17 CNN shows for the week—not exactly a recipe for success.

That’s not good news for CNN president Jeff Zucker, who thought that a reboot of one the most successful programs from CNN’s glory years would be an ideal fit in his new vision for the network.

While Zucker signed former congressman and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as one of the four hosts to give the show some instant credibility, the selections of S.E. Cupp, Stephanie Cutter and Van Jones were far more puzzling, considering their lack of star power, when compared to other CNN hosts and those on Fox News and MSNBC.

It’s always possible that this group of hosts will begin to mesh in time and provide the kind of program that Zucker originally envisioned, but in the super competitive world of cable news, they don’t have the luxury of time to build an audience and improve their ratings. Crossfire will have to improve fast for the hosts to be able to hold on to their jobs.





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