Big Names Mentioned on the Chopping Block at CNN, as Ratings Continue to Flounder

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Big changes may be on the horizon over at CNN. The once-popular cable news network has seen its ratings precipitously plummet over the last half-decade, with viewership routinely failing to compete with Fox News and even MSNBC. 

That fall from grace has coincided with CNN’s anti-conservative obsession, which always existed to some extent but greatly accelerated during the Trump administration. With the ouster of yet another CEO in Chris Licht, who was blamed for the problems despite them predating his arrival and being created by the remaining on-air “talent,” a new sheriff is in town, and he’s known for cutting costs. 

On that front, according to a new report, many of the network’s big “stars” could face large pay cuts or worse. 

New CEO Mark Thompson is preparing ruthless cuts to remake the network as ratings plunge — leaving Anderson Cooper, Chris Wallace, Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper facing dates with the axman, a source says.

“Anderson knows he’s on the chopping block because he makes a whopping $20 million a year. He’s already started looking for a new gig!” a network insider exclusively tells In Touch. “Chris Wallace takes $8 million and figures he’s a likely target, too!”

Insiders say other network favorites — including $15 million man Blitzer and $8 million gent Tapper – are also bracing for the boot!

CNN is facing the same problem Disney is. It doesn’t matter how ideologically driven a company wants to be, at the end of the day, money is money, and if it’s not coming in, then nothing else matters. CNN has faced a ratings shortfall for years, and in January of 2024, it found itself behind more niche networks like Hallmark and History (formerly The History Channel).

RELATED: CNN’s Entire Primetime Line-Up Fails to Equal the Ratings of One Fox News Program

The “most trusted name in news” — which recently hired former New York Times and BBC boss Mark Thompson as its CEO — had an average of 538,000 nightly viewers in the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. block during the seven-day period from Jan. 15 until Jan. 21, according to the most recent data compiled by Nielsen…

…CNN not only finished behind rivals Fox and MSNBC, but was the 10th most-watched channel on cable, getting beat by Hallmark, The History Channel and INSP, a South Carolina-based channel founded in the late 1970s by the Christian televangelists.

Even if the network’s ratings weren’t in the dumpster, is there really a justification for paying Chris Wallace $8 million? Or paying Anderson Cooper $20 million? I would say no given just about anyone can read a teleprompter and exhibit left-wing bias. There’s no great skill being offered by Jake Tapper preening for the camera and acting extremely concerned about “democracy.”

It’d be one thing if these “big names” were drawing large audiences, and offering a return on investment for their salaries, but they aren’t. They are getting blasted by low-budget movies on Hallmark. Something has to give, and new CEO Mark Thompson will have to get CNN’s finances under control if it is to survive long-term. 

Does that mean the network will cease to be a left-wing haven? I highly doubt it. If anything, I expect CNN to try to mimic MSNBC more. With that on the table, perhaps going bankrupt is the best option.

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