In media news today, a CBS reporter instructs the White House staff to show Biden the poll about his job approval falling, Bill Maher and Andrew Sullivan pan newsrooms for caving to the ‘woke mobs,’ and a CNN panel blasts Biden’s ‘bizarre’ messaging on Afghanistan
Rachel Maddow could have helped solve two of CNN’s most embarrassing issues if she joined its ranks, as it’s the only relevant cable news network without a female primetime host and struggles to attract viewers. But CNN will need a new savior after Maddow decided to stay with rival liberal network MSNBC.
Maddow “fielded interest from CNN” before deciding at remain at MSNBC, according to the Wall Street Journal. Axios also reported CNN was among her suitors.
The left-wing network st ar extended her contract with MSNBC and NBCUniversal, singing a new multi-year agreement on Friday that will allow her to develop other projects in partnership with the company while she continues to host “The Rachel Maddow Show.” The news was first reported by former NBC News media reporter Claire Atkinson for Business Insider and has since been confirmed to Fox News by a person familiar with the matter.
Rachel Maddow could have helped solve two of CNN’s most embarrassing issues, as it’s the only relevant cable news network without a female primetime host and it also struggles to attract viewers. (Getty Images)
News that Maddow was pondering her future was reported by liberal publications as talks with MSNBC dragged on, and many industry insiders believed Maddow’s team was using the media as leverage in contract negotiations with NBCUniversal.
When Maddow’s potential exit was reported, fans and MSNBC colleagues alike began to publicly praise her. “I want to just tell you that you are our North Star. You are revered and respected,” MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi told Maddow on air the day after The Daily Beast reported she was “seriously” considering bolting.
Velshi doesn’t have to worry.
CNN’s male-only, progressive primetime lineup of Anderson Cooper, the embattled Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon frequently fails to attract even one million viewers, while Maddow is typically the most-watched program outside of Fox News in cable news. She’s hosted her titular show since 2008.
CNN’s all-male primetime lineup of Anderson Cooper, the embattled Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon frequently fails to attract even one million viewers. (CNN)
During the month of July, Maddow averaged 2.3 million viewers to finish as cable news’ No. 4 program behind only “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “Hannity” and “The Five.” The most popular show on CNN’s lineup was the scandal-plagued Cuomo’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” which averaged only 954,000 nightly viewers to finish No. 22.
Maddow has a passionate liberal fan base who surely would have switched over to CNN if she made the jump and could have brought the struggling network at least one ratings winner. She was one of the chief proponents of Russia-related conspiracy theories during the Trump administration.
However, with Maddow set to remain at MSNBC, CNN’s male-dominated lineup will remain in place for now.
CNN’s pursuit of Maddow could be seen as an indictment of Cuomo, who has tarnished the network’s reputation for his role in his big brother’s sexual harassment scandal. Maddow and Cuomo compete during the 9 p.m. hour, with the MSNBC host typically dominating Cuomo in the ratings department, but it’s not clear if CNN expressed interest in Maddow to replace Cuomo or if she would have occupied a different timeslot.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
CNN president Jeff Zucker is famously close with Cuomo and has stood by him throughout the ordeal surrounding his involvement in soon-to-be-former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s, D., various scandals. One former CNN employee who worked closely with Cuomo recently told Fox News that the “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake has a direct line to the boss and would be protected at all costs.
CNN has long been the only cable news network without a female primetime host. Former anchor Brooke Baldwin recently slammed the network over its lack of opportunities for women.
“The most influential anchors on our network, the highest-paid, are men. My bosses, my executives, are men. The person who oversees CNN Dayside is a man, and my executive producer for 10 years is a man. So I’ve been surrounded by a lot of men,” Baldwin said on the Ms. Magazine podcast.
Baldwin was even taken off the air and replaced by Jake Tapper for the month leading up to the 2020 election. A fan asked on social media, “Why are you taking so many weeks off at such an important time?”
“Not my choice,” Baldwin replied.
In 2018, Hollywood trade publication “TheWrap” analyzed weekday programming on various networks and found CNN didn’t have as many female anchors as competitors.
“CNN has significantly fewer women serving in visible on-air roles than either Fox News or MSNBC,” TheWrap reported.
Baldwin, arguably the most high-profile woman on CNN when the study was conducted, has since exited.
Maddow would have been CNN’s biggest female star if she decided to jump ship, but the network will have to look elsewhere if it wants to finally put a woman in primetime or find a path to ratings respectability.