CNN’s “Late Edition” ratings are falling, but CNN is losing viewers

Can a new morning show with Don Lemon help turn around CNN’s fortunes?

For Don Lemon and his CNN-focused morning show “CNN Tonight,” ratings have been soaring while viewership has soared.

The ratings for the 9 a.m. hour were up nearly 8% in the seven weeks ending earlier this month, to 1.3 million viewers versus 1.1 million for the prior week, according to the Nielsen Media Research survey. The numbers are up from prior sales in the survey which pointed to a 2.1% increase between September and October.

But the numbers have been trending down in the hour since a surge in the previous week. And that may be good news for CNN, which is suffering a decline in prime time from 2 million viewers in the week of October 7 to 1 million today.

For CNN, as for all major television networks, the ratings are usually a key indicator of whether a show is losing attention. In the case of CNN’s “Late Edition,” for instance, the ratings have been falling since the beginning of fall in 2012. As is the case for “Tonight,” ratings for “Late Edition” have been falling even as it has gained traction with critics.

The numbers for “Late Edition” show a downward trend, averaging 3.2 million viewers per week since the show’s debut in September of 2012. But only to 3.1 million last week, according to Nielsen. Its ratings in the hour grew only to 3.7 million last week’s down from the previous week’s average of 3.8.

At its current rate, “Late Edition” would lose 3.3 million viewers this year. CNN would lose just over 1 million viewers this year.

“Late Edition,” though, had been a ratings juggernaut in the fall of 2012 and in the fall of 2013 when its

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