News anchors Brianna Keilar and Jim Acosta’s ratings dropped precipitously, according to a report from The Wrap, after the new show Democracy in Peril aired in Chris Cuomo’s former 9 p.m. time slot two weeks ago.

The news network has reportedly been struggling to replace their star anchor from Cuomo Prime Time after it was revealed that Chris Cuomo was heavily involved in his brother’s effort to combat claims of sexual misconduct. A report from New York Attorney General Letitia James uncovered text messages and accounts of Cuomo breaking journalist integrity by using his sources to find out information about the accusers and relay it back to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s inner circle.

Brianna Keilar and Jim Acosta have since guest-hosted the 9 p.m. EST primetime slot left vacant by Cuomo but have yet to correct the course of CNN’s failing ratings. Garnering just 556,000 total viewers in her first week, Brianna Keilar fell way under Fox’s Sean Hannity, who averaged 2.9 million total viewers.

Rachel Maddow’s 9 p.m. slot on MSNBC also pulled in an average of 2 million total viewers. CNN’s problematic ratings were only boosted by a Thursday night when Anderson Cooper hosted Joe Biden’s inauguration anniversary, but he still only rose to about 607,000 total viewers.

CNN’s Jim Acosta didn’t fare much better. He brought in 511,000 total average viewers, which was only slightly higher than Brianna Keilar. Before the controversy surrounding the Cuomo brothers, Chris Cuomo garnered an average of 1.137 million total viewers, according to The Wrap. Now, CNN struggles to record rating equal to just half of his previous numbers.

As ratings dropped, so did numbers for the key demographic of viewers aged 25 to 54, who accounted for just 20% of CNN’s total viewers on average. For some political analysts, maybe the problem isn’t hosts, but topical coverage.

On Jan. 21, Brianna Keilar and CNN ran a seven-minute interview with Rick Hasen, a UC Irvine political science professor, who stated that election subversion was the most immediate threat to democracy. The segment ran on the CNN anchor’s new Democracy in Peril show, a morbid title.

According to the Pew Research Center, interest in fixing voting rights, election audits, or prosecuting Jan. 6 insurrection rioters has hit a new low. This may account for why many viewers are turning to Fox News, MSNBC, or elsewhere entirely, instead of CNN’s Democracy in Peril.

“Between March and September 2021, Americans became less likely to say it was important to find and prosecute the Capitol rioters,” the Pew Research poll reported. Even more shocking, “a narrow majority of Americans (54%) said they were either not too or not at all confident that the House committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6 riot would be fair and reasonable.”

Despite lawmakers rallying against the threats to democracy, many Americans simply see each side’s political agendas. The country is very divided, and it can be felt through every law that failed to go through the Senate since President Biden has taken office. After failing to push voting rights legislation, he stated that he was “profoundly disappointed.”

Who will replace Chris Cuomo CNN sees ratings drop with news anchors Brianna Keilar and Jim Acosta
Who will replace Chris Cuomo? CNN sees ratings drop with news anchors Brianna Keilar and Jim Acosta. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

According to CNN‘s own political analyst Zachary Wolf, the question still remains, “Who exactly is listening to all the warnings about the state of American democracy?”

“We are taking a closer look at the state of our country, the threats to our political system and possible solutions for reversing the divisiveness that is tearing America apart,” Brianna Keilar explained, adding that probing the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack would be the show’s main focus.

As the midterms approach in November, CNN may be taking a big risk by focusing on a platform that is not exactly motivating the Democratic party’s base.

As Variety reported, the news network will likely continue to rotate hosts until they can find a proper replacement for Cuomo. MSNBC will soon be forced to replace Brian Williams’ slot, as well as Maddow’s, who was given more production duties at NBC. According to Variety, CNN will be able to size up their competition following this trial period and strike again for a greater share of ratings.