With its worst ratings in 21 years, floundering CNN says it is the CNBC of premium news

“News has become much more personality driven and much more opinionated since CNN launched 32 years ago, and CNN has had difficulty moving in that direction,” Brad Adgate, senior vice president of research at Horizon Media, told POLITICO. “They move in fits and starts, and they don’t do a very good job of it.”

“CNN doesn’t seem to want to reframe itself according to the new identity of cable, but it doesn’t seem committed to an alternative strategy,” said Robert Thompson, the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. “They’re sticking with the brand that they’ve always been, and they’re having real ratings problems across the board.”

“My comparison to MSNBC and Fox News is a very simple one,” [CNN’s senior vice president and Washington bureau chief Sam] Feist told POLITICO. “We don’t do what they do. We produce different products. I don’t think CNN should be in the same category as they are.”

“As a news organization, our ratings reflect the news environment much more so than the other networks,” said a spokesperson. “That said, we always want higher ratings, but not at the expense of nonpartisan, quality journalism.”

Related: CNN ratings drop not bad yet for its bottom line (Poynter)