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

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CNN’s April ratings were its lowest in a decade. CNN says that isn’t much of a problem: The network’s worst ratings are in prime time, and “Keep in mind, the advertising revenue that we bring in for the prime-time revenues for CNN U.S. is less than 10% of the overall revenue,” Jim Walton, the president of CNN Worldwide, told Keach Hagey. CNN makes about half of its money through subscriber fees paid to it from cable operators.

But weak ratings, one brave unnamed cable executive told Hagey, are “leverage for us.” And they’re also an opening for executive shakeups, none of which have touched Walton, programming changes, and lots and lots of unsolicited advice.

Brian Stelter writes that CNN is on track to post its highest-ever operating profit this year. “They just made so much money that they didn’t have to change,” another brave unnamed cable executive tells him. The network has an “emergency room” problem, Stelter says: “When elections and explosions happen, people tune in to CNN, the same way they hurry to a hospital when they think they are having a heart attack. But people tend not to linger in either place.” So far, no programming changes have stanched the bleeding.

So maybe it’s the cable’s stated mission to be nonpartisan? After all, it’s long ago been passed by Fox in prime time ratings, and Stelter writes that it’s been behind MSNBC for 22 of the last 24 months. Surely the channel’s unwillingness to mix it up with guests is repelling viewers? That’s Cenk Uygur’s theory; the Current TV host says CNN is “doing so poorly I might even catch them on Current,” a statement as bold as Breitbart News’ assertion that “Fox slants slightly conservative.”

New York University journalism Professor Jay Rosen has long tended a sideline business of pounding CNN for wimping out. He, like Jon Stewart, says CNN’s issue isn’t so much the emergency room one as the “CNN leaves it there” problem: The net lets people spout off, doesn’t challenge them, and goes to commercial. That’s extremely frustrating for informed news viewers, who might flip channels when they hear obvious twaddle go unchecked. Rosen’s also written about his dream CNN prime-time lineup and composed a listicle about five fixes CNN could make. They’re classics of the how-to-fix CNN genre, one authoritatively surveyed by Michael Calderone in March 2010.

There’s also the existential threat to cable news posed by the Internet (and the increasing meaninglessness of “breaking news,” still CNN’s bread and butter). As media analyst Ken Doctor told Alex Sherman: “It’s so easy to get news now. When you build an hour around a person, that’s more effective than building around news programming itself.”

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  • Anonymous

     

    CNN

     

    —Certainly Not the News

    —Fox Light

    —Communist News Network

    —Part of the Axis of Evil  CNN, NBC,
    CBS, ABC

    —So far left and intertwined with Obama, when Obama tanks in the polls, so
    does CNN’s ratings

    —Communist Network Nuts

    —The Obama Propaganda Machine (OPM) ; CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS.There can
    be no question of the fact that the Media has long since left the Ethics of
    Journalism to pursue a Political Agenda and Ideology of Socialism/Marxism and
    Anti Capitalism.

    —Obama Cheer leading Squad = CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC.   Every one tanking in the polls

    — CNN = Once-proud, groundbreaking cable news channel that is now little
    better than Pravda.

    –Does CNN have a LEMON LAW ?

    —Hey LEMON HEAD!

  • Anonymous

     As a NEWS JUNKIE I used to watch CNN and Fox in roughly equal numbers. But
    NOT in the last 2 or 3 years.

    CNN hires token news people and addresses the news through a prism that
    would appeal to that particular demographic – NOT what is of common to most Americans.

    Everyone employed at CNN fits a “special” category = Gay, Black,
    Muslim, Hispanic or a Woman and ALL ARE LIBERALS.

    Don Lemon is one of the worst.  Lemon,
    Anderson, Amapour and Fareed Zakaria biasness are the reason CNN is tanking in
    the polls. These anchors don’t even bother hiding their bias.

    Anderson Cooper wears his gay liberal agenda on his muscled sleeves while
    Don Lemon literally preens on air.   

    Even CNN’s  “special”
    documentaries deal with the issues of these “special groups.” CNN’s
    completely over the top coverage of Haiti is an example of this. CNN
    completely IGNORES the issues common to ALL U.S. citizens like the national
    debt unless forced to and then takes Obama’s side because CNN supports Obama.  CNN does a “Black in America” and
    “Latin in America”, “Transgender in America” and NOW Tony and Gary
    Have a Baby”.   Is it any wonder CNN is tanking?

    CNN has turned into another BET (Black Entertainment Network) and Air America
    network.  The politics of diversity
    DIVIDE Americans at a time when we should be pulling together. 

    CNN says it is the #1 watched cable network in the WORLD BUT NEGLECTS to say
    it is NOT the #1 watched cable network in the United States – FOX is. If CNN
    wants to cater to European liberals and LOSE American viewers they are doing a
    very good job.

    And Fox News is getting as biased as CNN.  O’Reilly was in Romey’s tank and allowed Ann Coulter TWO 15 minutes of time before TWO big GOP primary elections so Coulter could SPEW her hatred of all the candidates and extol Romney.  Not ONCE did ‘Oreilly allow a Gingrich/Santorum/Paul supporter have TWO 15 minute prime time air time to rant againt Romney.  

    WORSE – Fox and Friends and F&F Saturday had TWO bogus staged voter events.   Brian Kilmead had 3 “randomly” picked voters (one for Romney/Santorum/Gingrich – NONE for Ron Paul) spew about how they hated Ron Paul and why they supported their particular candidate.   How FAIR AND BALANCED was THAT? 

    WORSE STILL.  Then Fox and Friends after a GOP primary in which Ron Paul said he had more military supporters than other candidates – trotted out 3 MORE “randomly” chosen voters this time all military vets  (one for Romney/Gingrich/Santorum and NONE FOR Ron Paul) and Brian Kilmead allowed all three wto spew against Ron Paul while promoting their candidate.  Fox and Friend Saturday (the femail) then held her own bogus staged voter events none of whom supported Ron Paul.   

    Fox news watchers DEFINITELY NOTICED a Romney SLANT and it wasn’t until Romney was far ahead in delegates that Fox started loosing its drum beats for Romney.  DISGUSTING.

    Fox News is for Romney like CNN/LSM is for Obama and IT SHOWS!

  • Alfred Neuman

    Wonder if CNN (“Certainly Not the News”) has any insight at all about how their way Leftist uber liberal agenda turns off so many viewers, who are voting with their feet (and eyes) by migrating in droves to Fox News? 

     There’s not 1 thing they ever disliked about Obama or his obviously failed Presidency–and they never miss an opportunity to try yuxxing stories around to make Romney look bad.

     Just 1 example of their cluelessness:  Fareed Zakaria–this turkey shoiuld just announce publicly that he’s the official mouthpiece of Islamists and simpliify matters. His never-ending often pathetic attempts at defending radical Islam, terrorism, and even Iran (“they only want nuclear capability for peacetime use”) !! are as obvious as can be, and all he wants to do is try mis-directing  Americans attention from the very real daily threat of murderous Islamofascist terorism to some pseud-issue (like bashing our best Mideast ally Israel).

     II’d bet that as CNN continues its death spiral down to NO viewership, the Glib Libs in charge there still won’t get how terribly out of touch with mainstream Americans they’ve become!