CNN’s new chairman Chris Licht is desperately reaching out to disinterested Republicans, and it’s easy to understand why.
The network is losing ratings and the advertising dollars that come with them at an alarming rate.
Benjamin Mullin reports in the New York Times:
Profits Slump at CNN as Ratings Plummet
One of the first moves the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery made when it took over CNN was shutting down CNN+, the nascent streaming service that was touted as the network’s bridge to the future.
The next month, when Chris Licht took over as CNN’s chairman, he told employees in his first town hall meeting not to worry about ratings, a mainstay of TV news used as a benchmark for revenue and relevance.
Now, three months into Mr. Licht’s tenure, the network finds itself facing big questions about how it can continue to grow its business with its moonshot streaming service dead and the traditional TV business in structural decline.
Projections from S&P Global Market Intelligence say that CNN’s profitability is on pace to decline to $956.8 million this year. That would mark the first time since 2016 that the network has dipped below $1 billion in profit, according to three people familiar with its operations.
Two people familiar with CNN’s operations said that the network’s initial 2022 profitability target was $1.1 billion, which Mr. Licht is on track to miss by more than $100 million.
Ryan King of the Washington Examiner details efforts Licht has made to turn things around:
Licht’s appointment as CEO was announced in February, and he formally took over in May. The network drew an average of roughly 639,000 prime-time viewers during this quarter — a 27% nosedive from a year ago, per the New York Times. This puts CNN behind MSNBC, which is down 23% during the same time frame, and Fox News, which is up about 1%.
To remedy this dilemma, executives have reportedly been scrambling for ways to hunt for more money. Licht has reached out to Chris Marlin, who does not have experience managing a cable news company, to brainstorm ideas for revenue resurgence. He has reportedly pitched or mulled ideas such as advertising deals with major tech firms, selling sponsorships, and expanding operations in China.
CNN brass has also reportedly tamped down on expenses, with caps on travel and internal festivities to cut costs.
Frankly, I don’t know how CNN ever fixes this problem as long as they continue to employ people like Brian Stelter, Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, Jim Acosta and others.
There is no coming back from their coverage during Trump’s presidency. Their masks came off for all to see who they really are.DONATE
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