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)

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AWGNY6R2P3RHSBQLQTT76SDKWQ Kenneth Conway

    Robert Thompson? That’s the best you can come up with?

    Talk about sticking with the same old brand.Poor, lazy Politico.

  • Anonymous

     I get two cackling yentas who laugh frequently and read scripts that say, “Get this!” or “You’re never going to believe…!!”

    So why do you continue to listen? Ever heard of NPR?

  • Mr. News

    In the age of Spin & Slant, any straight news operation will not be popular, if popular is what really matters. CNN does an excellent job with most breaking news, but a few of their anchors are God-awful.(I’m beggin’ ya, somebody teach Blitzer when to breathe while speaking.) And the happy-talk chit-chat is just vomitous. (For mindless banter, one can just turn on any radio morning show.) 

    CNN suffers cruel ratings mainly because they are trying to be all things to all people. And most people want Spin & Slant (usually to the far right).

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the problem: Morning shows with anchors like Zoraida Sambolin and Ashleigh Banfield.

    I listen to it in the morning while getting ready for work. Instead of a straight rundown of the news (CNN, circa 1995), I get two cackling yentas who laugh frequently and read scripts that say, “Get this!” or “You’re never going to believe…!!” As I listen, I have no doubt as to why CNN’s ratings are tanking.