Coronavirus has killed over 500,00 Americans but CNN’s parent company managed to find a silver lining to the pandemic — it’s lifted the liberal network’s ratings.
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar was asked on Thursday if CNN, which falls under WarnerMedia, has the ability to keep its ratings momentum going during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
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“It turns out that pandemic is a pretty big part of the news cycle, and that’s not going away anytime soon,” Kilar said, noting that things are different these days “from a political drama perspective” but luckily for CNN and WarnerMedia they still have the deadly virus to fall back on.
“If you take a look at the ratings and the performance, its going well,” Kilar continued. “And I think it’s going well because, A, the team at CNN is doing a fantastic job. And B, it turns out that the pandemic and the way that we can help inform and contextualize the pandemic, it turns out it’s really good for ratings.”
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Despite the coronavirus uptick, CNN still finished behind both Fox News and MSNBC among total viewers during the month of February.
While most Americans are eager to return to normal, pre-pandemic life, CNN’s parent company is enjoying the benefits of an uptick in viewership.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment on if the network is concerned about post-pandemic ratings or whether it would push a particular narrative to keep the ratings momentum going.
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According to CDC data, about 8.1% of the U.S. population – just shy of 27 million people – is fully vaccinated. Questions about when it would be safe to visit elderly relatives or gather indoors without masks continue to arise, as does when it will be safe to travel.
Earlier this week, following the FDA’s emergency-use authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, President Biden said the U.S. would have enough supply to inoculate every adult by the end of May.
Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.