Despite Viewership Woes, CNN Retains Stranglehold On 58 Airports

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CNN is suffering from a steep decline in viewership, but the network still has a lock on at least one captive audience: travelers in 58 airports around the country.

The network has enjoyed a monopoly on dozens of airport televisions since 1991, despite suffering from low ratings that have managed to erode even further in the Trump era. That problem even made headlines last month, when the network’s primetime lineup hit a three-year low for the week of Nov. 25. CNN drew 643,000 viewers for the period, compared to 1.3 million for MSNBC and 2.2 million for Fox News. That means CNN drew just 15 percent of the available audience, compared to 53 percent for Fox.

Considering the network’s poor standing, some viewers believe it’s time for airports to change the channel, including Alaska’s Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor Rodney Dial. As a member of the assembly in 2018, Dial drafted a proposal that would have directed Ketchikan International Airport to reduce CNN’s airtime.

“Many are not happy that CNN has a monopoly and that no diversity of news is offered,”  Dial, a former Alaska state trooper, said in an interview with the Daily Caller. “My proposal was not to remove CNN entirely, but to assure balance by airing other news outlets for an equal amount of time.” He added that his constituents perceived CNN “more as propaganda than unbiased news.”


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