CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper did not get off to the most auspicious start on Monday evening.
The revamped 4 p.m. hour, the first launch since Jeff Zucker took over as president of CNN Worldwide, largely underperformed from the numbers Wolf Blitzer brought during the same time slot last week.
In total viewers, The Lead placed fourth among the cable news networks with 400,000 viewers. Down 27,000 from last Monday, it brought half the audience of Fox News Channel’s Your World With Neil Cavuto (1.1 million). HLN (779,000) pulled second, with MSNBC’s Martin Bashir (479,000) also outranking CNN.
Monday to Monday, The Lead did manage to inch up with adults 25-54. It pulled 87,000, improving on Blitzer’s 54,000. But it still ranked fourth, behind HLN (211,000), FNC (172,000) and MSNBC (100,000).
Ratings in the 4 p.m. hour, and across the cable news lineup, tend to fluctuate quite a bit from day to day. But compared to the time slot’s average for last week (March 11-15), The Lead was down even more: 37 percent in the targeted demo and 31 percent in total viewers.