CNN Ad Revenue Was Down Nearly 40% For the First Four Months of 2023

(Image credit: Photo Illustration by Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

While costly missteps, bad newsroom morale and low ratings flavored the narrative of former CNN CEO Chris Lichts firing this week, advertising intelligence company MediaRadar reveals that a precipitous recent decline in ad sales revenue for CNN probably factored into Licht's departure, as well.

According to MediaRadar data, over 2,000 companies spent $312.6 million from January through April on CNN digital and linear TV ads. That was down 39% from the same four-month period of 2022. 

April was particularly slow, the firm noted, with CNN ad sales declining 48% to just $80 million. 

“Our data analysis suggests a significant downward trend in CNN's ad revenue during Chris Licht's tenure, reflecting substantial declines both in total spend and in the number of advertisers,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO and co-founder of MediaRadar, in a statement. 

(Image credit: MediaRadar)

MediaRadar also said that CNN has been attracting fewer advertisers of late.

From January through April 2022, 68 companies had invested $2 million or more on CNN outlets, and were collectively responsible for nearly $236 million during that period. 

In stark contrast, for the same timeframe in 2023, there were only 17 companies investing at this level, a 75% year-over-year decrease. 

These companies accounted for a mere $95 million, marking a 60% collective spend decrease. Major corporations, including Thumbtack, Apple, Cisco Systems and The Walt Disney Company, have all reduced their ad spend with CNN by over 90% year over year, MediaRadar added.

(Image credit: MediaRadar)
Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!