CNN’s Trump bump quickly came to a crashing halt.
The ratings-challenged cable news network drew just 335,000 average viewers during its three-hour prime-time block on Friday — placing it not only behind Fox and MSNBC but also fringe outlet Newsmax.
The woeful figures came two days after CNN drew its highest ratings in two years from its controversial town hall with former President Donald Trump.
However, giving the lightning-rod Republican a forum to reiterate his conspiracy theories — including his claim that the 2020 election was “rigged” — led to internal outcry and a seeming backlash from its traditional left-wing viewership base.
Anderson Cooper, the network’s most-watched anchor, came on the air Thursday and told his irate viewers that they had every right to never watch CNN again.
It seemed a lot of them took him up on the offer.
Friday’s edition of the Cooper-hosted “AC360” at 8 p.m. drew 447,000 viewers, well below his usual average.
The ratings just kept getting worse throughout the night, with just 293,000 tuning in for “Whole Story with Anderson” at 9 p.m. and 263,000 for “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” — the lowest-rated hour since the show launched on CNN in September, according to according to Mediaite.
CNN’s rivals at Fox News won the primetime battle, averaging 1.44 million viewers, while MSNBC had a 1.08 million.
The right-leaning channel Newsmax — which launched in 2014, more than three decades after CNN was founded — garnered 357,000 average prime time viewers.
A CNN spokesperson insisted CNN’s poor ratings after the Trump town hall are not tied to the viewership surge seen by Newsmax. He pointed out that Newsmax has gained steam since Fox parted ways with Tucker Carlson last month.
“The phenomenon you’ve identified is not related to CNN,” spokesperson Matt Dornic told The Post on Tuesday. “Fox News viewership is down double digits as their viewers jump to Newsmax in huge numbers.”
CNN didn’t fare much better in the key 25-54 demographic for advertisers, drawing 87,000 viewers — compared with 109,000 for Fox and 98,000 for MSNBC.
It did manage to top Newsmax, which nabbed 45,000 in the demo.
“CNN is entirely focused on the 25-54 demo, which was actually up versus the previous four Fridays while both Fox and MSNBC were down,” Dornic said.
The plunge in CNN’s ratings after the May 10 town hall — which drew 3.3 million viewers — illustrates the challenge facing network boss Chris Licht as he seeks to turn the news channel around since parent company Warner Bros. Discovery tasked him with the job more than a year ago.
In March, CNN reported a drastic 61% dip in viewership — the steepest among the big three cable news giants.
CNN also ended April down — the same month Licht celebrated his one-year anniversary in the CEO role and axed longtime host Don Lemon over misogynistic on-air comments.
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