CNN Experiences Another Embarrassing Loss

( “A sorry state of affairs.” That’s how a former producer is describing CNN.
The network confronts upcoming leadership changes, sagging ratings, and “the embarrassing launch of a suboptimal product,” leaving observers to wonder if a regime change can restore the network’s reputation.
CNN’s parent firm WarnerMedia will complete a long-awaited merger with Discovery in the coming weeks. Jeff Zucker, the former CNN boss, was forced to resign in disgrace, and his replacement, Chris Licht, isn’t likely to be taking over until at least April 11.
High-powered Discovery CEO David Zaslav will preside over the new Warner Bros. Discovery. This will be CNN’s parent company once they merge.
Employees are unsure what adjustments Licht and Zaslav will make, but the two are anticipated to make waves. Being an arm of the DNC, which was popular under Zucker’s tenure, is likely to be replaced by straight news.
The launch of their streaming service CNN+ this week is a dismal failure.
The question looms, did Jeff Zucker’s hand, which was profoundly partisan and overtly leftwing, permanently stain the network?
A media insider observes that their ratings are in the dumper amid a once-in-a-decade war, news that CNN is supposedly made for. “Viewers don’t turn to CNN for serious news anymore,” said the source.
The first quarter ratings for 2022 were released on Tuesday, and CNN’s most-watched show was “Anderson Cooper 360,” which drew one million nightly viewers, putting them No. 22 among cable news programs.
The idea that CNN+, launched this week, would garner paid subscribers when the basic cable version of CNN is one of the least-watched channels in the nightly lineup.
Zucker was the driving force behind the service, but he is no longer with CNN to help market it.
The streaming service features such “dynamic” content as “Jake Tapper’s Book Club,” and “Parental Guidance with Anderson Cooper.”
Who can wait?
It seems Zucker spent an “obscene amount of money” on “something no one wants,” said a former CNN producer.
Media critic Bill Goodykoontz, while mocking CNN+, said that they covered the infamous Will Smith Oscars slap with the same zest and passion that the old CNN covered the Gulf War.
On the first day the new service was active, a guest on Brian Stelter’s new streaming show said he wasn’t thrilled with the current state of the network. That’s not the kind of remark one needs when putting a fresh coat of paint on the place.
During an interview on CNBC, John Malone, who sits on the board of directors for Discovery Communications Inc. and is well respected, made headlines when he said that CNN should return to nonpartisan journalism, as it was when Ted Turner launched the network.
In a message to CNN staff, Licht stated that he would double down on what’s working well and promptly remove what’s not. “David Zaslav has given me one simple directive: To ensure that CNN remains the global leader in NEWS as part of Warner Bros. Discovery,” Licht continued. The fact that the word “news” was capitalized is a signal.
Former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, a Republican who declared his bid for the United States Senate earlier this month, is one of the critics who doubt Licht’s ability to restore CNN’s journalistic reputation.
“I’m just skeptical that CNN can do it. They made their bread and butter basically trashing Donald Trump, trashing conservatives,” he said. “I just don’t know they haven’t gone too far past the mark of no return.”
So far, there seems to be “no return” on their investments, which is always the bottom line.