It’s been a rough month for CNN’s in-house media pundit Brian Stelter.
Stelter’s low-rated Sunday show “Reliable Sources” averaged only 786,000 viewers in June for its worst turnout during any month of 2021. The program has declined each month since President Biden took office and has now failed to crack the one-million viewer benchmark for three consecutive months.
Stelter’s show finished June down a staggering 56 percent from its January totals when the liberal network saw a brief spike in viewership during the final days of Trump’s presidency.
Brian Stelter’s low-rated Sunday show "Reliable Sources" averaged only 786,000 viewers in June for its worst turnout during any month of 2021. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
“Reliable Sources” also struggled in the key news demographic of adults age 25-54, averaging only 137,000 viewers in the category coveted by advertisers. It was the worst month of the year for Stelter’s show in the critical category as “Reliable Sources” shed 65 percent of its January audience.
CNN’s struggling media program wrapped up the second quarter of 2021 down 39 percent among total viewers and down 48 percent in the key demo compared to the first quarter of the year. “Reliable Sources” finished the dismal quarter with an average of 846,000 viewers to snap its five-quarter streak of cracking the one-million plateau.
The list of programs that outdrew “Reliable Sources” during the quarter includes everything from MeTV’s old episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” to Food Network’s “Girl Meets Farm.”
Bravo’s “Below Deck Sailing Yacht,” ESPN’s coverage of the women’s softball College World Series, CW’s “Kung Fu,” TLC’s “7 Little Johnstons” and Discovery’s “Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine” all outdrew Stelter, too.
Stelter’s month began with a widely panned interview with White House press secretary Jen Psaki, in which the first question to his former CNN colleague was centered on what the media “gets wrong” in covering the Biden White House.
“Bootlicking,” Newsbusters news analyst Nicholas Fondacaro said of Stelter’s opening questions.
At the time, the chummy June 6 interview resulted in the smallest audience of the year for “Reliable Sources,” but Stelter managed to lose even more viewers in subsequent June episodes.
By mid-June, Stelter’s ratings collapse was national news among media watchdogs and podcast juggernaut Joe Rogan took aim at the left-wing CNN host.
“The market has spoken and your show’s f—in terrible,” podcast juggernaut Joe Rogan said. “Well, Brian Stelter’s show keeps slipping and slipping and slipping in the ratings.”
Rogan even dragged Stelter for the now-infamous Psaki interview.
“How about Brian Stelter talking to the press secretary, ‘What are we doing wrong? What are we doing wrong?’ Like, hey motherf—er, you’re supposed to be a journalist,” Rogan exclaimed on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Stelter claims his show takes an inside look at the media industry, but the liberal host ignored the most buzzed-about cable news segment of the month when “Reliable Sources” didn’t cover Jeffrey Toobin’s awkward return to CNN following an embarrassing masturbation scandal. Instead, Stelter spent much of the month criticizing conservative media.
Stelter’s rough month also featured a report that his newscaster wife behaves like a “high-school bully” by badmouthing colleagues at local New York station NY1 and C-SPAN callers mocked him directly when he took calls during a June 10 appearance on “Washington Journal.”
“Mr. Stelter is the biggest minister of misinformation I have ever heard and I’m a news junkie,” a caller identified as Kevin from Indiana told the liberal CNN host.
CNN’s Brian Stelter famously told Michael Avenatti on air in 2018, "One of the reasons why I’m taking you seriously as a [2020 presidential] contender is because of your presence on cable news."
A separate caller identified as Gordon in Kansas asked Stelter to “admit he and his network are a bunch of liars about Donald Trump,” while another wanted to know if Stelter still thought disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti should run for president.
Stelter famously told Avenatti on air in 2018, “One of the reasons why I’m taking you seriously as a [2020 presidential] contender is because of your presence on cable news.” However, those dreams were derailed when Avenatti was found guilty of trying to extort Nike.
While June seemed to be a tough month for the 35-year-old Stelter, he did manage to have some fun. He recently partied with Toobin at a swanky New York City party, according to TVNewser.