[Fox News] Charles Barkley hits CNN being ‘full of s—‘ following hosting stint, swipes network’s poor ratings

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Former NBA superstar Charles Barkley took some swipes at the “boneheads” he worked with at CNN following his brief hosting stint for the network

Barkley, a longtime NBA analyst for CNN’s sister network TNT, was recruited last year alongside CBS News’ Gayle King to co-host an experimental weekly primetime show “King Charles,” which ended last month.

On Thursday’s installment of “The Mike Missanelli Podcast,” Barkley pushed back at the media’s assertions that his show was “canceled” despite the fact that CNN had always billed “King Charles” as a limited series since its launch last November.

“You know the type of boneheads I work with?” Barkley began. “First of all, it wasn’t canceled. I talk to Gayle all the time. They haven’t told us we were canceled. That’s how stupid these people are… I was always only gonna do that for a short period of time and then I was gonna go back to the NBA. So, me and Gayle, like– this is how boneheaded these people are, I work with.”

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The TNT star went on to say he “really liked” his CNN hosting gig and how he was able to talk about other topics beyond basketball, but he continued taking swipes at the news network over the cancelation narrative. 

“But that just shows you how full of s— the whole thing is with CNN,” Barkley said. “Like, we had new people take over and we’re in disarray. Like, yesterday they put an article out that CNN had its worst ratings ever since like 1992.”

CNN declined to comment. 

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“King Charles” was the brainchild of ousted CNN boss Chris Licht. Licht recruited King, with whom he had previously worked as the executive producer of “CBS This Morning” (King still co-hosts, now called “CBS Mornings”), and relied on in-house talent within the Warner Bros. Discovery umbrella as Barkley remains a popular NBA analyst for TNT.

Barkley was always candid about CNN’s dire straits. Last year, as talks were underway, Barkley openly referred to CNN as a “s—show” and joked he was “jumping on the Titanic” after the show was announced.

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Despite the star power that Barkley and King brought to CNN, “King Charles” was never a hit with TV viewers, debuting with just 500,000 total viewers in November and losing roughly 20% of its audience after, though that does not include viewer data from its livestream on Max.

CNN has made several attempts to juice up its ratings in addition to “King Charles,” including overhauling its daytime and primetime programming and airing encore episodes of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Saturdays.

The network’s struggles to maintain viewers is ongoing. Last week, in the heat of the landmark New York v. Trump trial, CNN’s primetime viewership hit a new low, averaging only 83,000 nightly viewers in the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults ages 25-54 from May 13-19, according to Nielsen Media Research. The dismal total tied the network’s 2023 Thanksgiving week for its smallest audience in the critical category since 1991.  

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