CNN Ad Revenue Decreased by 40% So Far This Year





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This year has been a hard one for CNN. Ratings have been dropping along with employee morale, prompting CNN to make some changes. Leading up to the final weeks of former CNN CEO Chris Licht, the network saw plummeting ad sales revenue numbers.

“Our data analysis suggests a significant downward trend in CNN’s ad revenue during Chris Licht’s tenure, reflecting substantial declines both in total spend and in the number of advertisers,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO and Co-Founder of MediaRadar.

Chris Licht was let go after only one year of serving as Chief Executive and Chairman for CNN. During this time, CNN’s ad sale revenue and audience numbers dropped significantly.

From January through April of this year, around 2,000 combined spent $312.6 million on CNN’s digital and linear television advertisements, plummeting 39 percent from the same time period in 2022. This April alone saw the biggest drop with a 48 percent decrease, bringing in only $80 million in ad sale revenue. February was the lowest overall but had the least decline compared to other months when comparing 2023 to 2022 numbers.

Ad sale revenue has also been spurred on by a declining number of advertisers. In the first four months of 2022, 68 companies invested at least $2 million on CNN and “were collectively responsible for nearly $236 million.” However, this year was not so fruitful. CNN saw a 75 percent decrease in the number of companies investing, dropping to a mere 17 companies when looking at the same parameters. CNN only netted $95 million total in the first four months of 2023, an overall 60 percent ad spend decline.

A number of remaining companies have slashed their ad spend to CNN outlets. Apple, The Walt Disney Company, Thumbtack, and Cisco Systems are cutting CNN-related ad spends by 90 percent year-over-year.

CNN quickly replaced Chris Licht with David Leavy, who has already taken over as the new Chief Operating Officer. Hopefully, Leavy will be able to help CNN recover over the remainder of this year.

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