Skip to comments.How CNN Lost its Way
Posted on 12/05/2013 4:16:43 PM PST by Kaslin
ATLANTA -- Let's be honest, no matter how one paints it or spins it, CNN is a news network in trouble.
I can talk about this because I have known far too many former CNN leaders, anchors, and alumni to not know a little bit about the history of the company.
And let's be clear, the new man at the helm, Jeff Zucker, formerly of NBC is not the man to blame for the network's precarious position. He has tried many a new move and likely will attempt more as this once king-of-cable news continues to attempt to find its place in a world it once dominated.
But make no mistake, his task is mighty and time may not be his friend.
The demise of CNN can be traced to three names -- Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes. It's that simple.
Turner started out in his business life as a conservative Republican and continued to walk a fine line between his pro-GOP past and his later tilt to the left during the early years of CNN. Yes, he was seen in the company of incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s and into 1980, but that could hardly be viewed as a huge transgression given his ties to Carter's native Georgia.
But in the early '80s he attended some Reagan fundraisers and literally set up shop in then-Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. Mack Mattingly's office as he sought to fight legislation he viewed as a big network attack on his fledgling company. And while Turner became increasingly flamboyant and liberal, his passion for covering breaking news and doing so with as little bias as possible was unwavering.
Ironically, CNN's big break came during the 1990 war in Iraq. Turner managed to get hold of a then-virtually unheard of camera operated by satellite, and his man in Bagdad captured riveting and live shots of U.S. missiles striking the city in an effort, led by a Republican president, to end aggression by Saddam Hussein.
Its stock soared, and by 1996, with its world headquarters hosting the Olympic games and CNN dominating the world of cable news, Ted Turner chose to sell to Time Warner. It is a move I believe Turner regrets in many ways to this very day.
About this same time media mogul Rupert Murdoch persuaded likely the best political and corporate media mind of our lifetime, Roger Ailes, to leave what would become MSNBC and run Fox News. The rest, as they say, is history.
Understand that, allegedly, Turner and Murdoch have been "feuding" for years, with most of the feud coming from the Turner side. That said, it's likely that the two have much more in common than meets the eye.
Both Murdoch and Turner enjoy phenomenal business sense. Both are entrepreneurs willing to creatively imagine and ultimately see to fruition very big dreams. And both men chose to rely on the best talent they could find to help them reach their goals.
But Turner chose to leave the playing field and pursue numerous other interests while Murdoch continued to be actively in the game and in control. And while Murdoch's chosen cable news chief, Ailes, remained a focused and innovative constant at Fox, Time Warner went through numerous machinations and the inner-leadership at CNN bounced around from true news-types to whatever.
MSNBC finally found a voice by taking ownership of whatever left-leaning audience there might be for cable news. If one considers the likes of Al Sharpton informative or credible, then MSNBC is a perfect, albeit quirky, fit.
But CNN has been left with no clear audience and, most alarmingly, a lack of the Turner-style zest for fighting to be the best at reporting breaking news. The evidence in that can be found year's earlier when, under Ailes' leadership, Fox chose to be the first network to run a constant ticker with updated news during 9-11. Like Turner's satellite camera of years earlier, that ticker symbolized a rise to prominence and is now an industry standard.
Now Mr. Zucker is reportedly moving with lightning speed to put zest in slow-moving news programs and put entertainment to the forefront of the CNN Headline brand.
But time is his enemy, and ratings may be his undoing. Mr. Ailes, who might as well have invented the secret formula to Atlanta's best-known export, Coca-Cola, now seems to have complete command over his competition. His primetime shows are destroying the competition, even in the most sought after age demographics.
And as for Mr. Turner, whose son, it should be noted, recently ran as a Republican for Congress in South Carolina, there is little doubt that, regardless of his political views, his business sense and entrepreneurial style are much lacking at CNN.
Recently, the Atlanta Braves, once also owned by Ted Turner, announced that they would be leaving the City of Atlanta for the northern suburbs and would abandon the stadium named after Turner and nicknamed "The Ted."
The real question now is whether CNN will become a diminished shell of its past. Will that famed neon CNN emblem someday burn out and disappear as well? Time, moving so quickly, will tell.
Doesn’t matter one bit. The MSM is 1 billion times more powerful than God, and they gave us the Marxist, Kenyan, bisexual dirtbag. Live with it, deal with it. Our dreams of a diminished MSM were just that—dreams. Katie Couric told the ignorant pig-dog filth known as the American voter to vote for the Kenyan, and they did. Who cares about CNN?
Why did God make the sky blue?
The problem with CNN was its Hard Leftist slant on the news.
I grew so tired of it I requested FoxNews from my cable provider at least five years before I they finally gave in and brought it on board.
Once available, I had watched my last CNN program.
In some ways, I thought CNN had a better network. I thought they were able to provide faster coverage and perhaps a little better immediate coverage. It didn’t matter. I had been lied to and told stuff I knew better than to believe so many times, I didn’t want to bother listening to their hard Left propagandists even during national emergencies.
Who wants to watch Islamic Clerics leading out 09/11 memorial ceremonies, with the network commentator telling you what a wonderful thing it is, not a question of the moral implications whatsoever?
CNN is in the tank, because good red-blooded American citizens can’t stand to listen to it any longer. Who knew?
Those with money to buy the products their advertisers are selling, listen to FoxNews. Those that don’t are on welfare and sapping us dry on other programs.
I’m sure illegal immigrants buy CNN’s advertiser’s goods..., aren’t you?
This is a Capitalist Free Enterprise economy. Somehow the socialists forget that their pipe dreams don’t work in the real world.
Dios? LOL, CNN can’t believe in Christianity. It’s a Communist News Network.
Go without God CNN. You always have.
Partisan Media Shills is what happened to CNN.
The last journalists retired from or quit CNN after their careers were torpedoed as company policy.
I think we all remember Bernard Shaw’s nailing of the incompetent wretch Michael Dukakis:
The Kitty Dukakis Rape Question 1988
CNN’s Bernard Shaw destroys Michael Dukakis in 1988 Presidential Debate - YouTube
[snip] In his career, Shaw won two Emmys, four ACE Awards, and a Peabody. When he announced his retirement from CNN in 2000, CNN covered it through their “entertainment desk”. [/snip]
CNN and MSNBC would both go the way of the dodo bird if cable tv is ever served up ala carte.
CNN went for the prime advertising demographic- young (18 to 40) women.
Now no one else can stand to watch the channel.
On FOX, those young women can get a guy to sit next to them.
CNN and MSNBC are fighting over the same prized but small demographic of women who’d prefer not to have a man around...
Since MSNBC also forsakes all other demographics for those women both of them are fighting for the same product for their advertisers.
CNN had Lynne Russel back when it was a real news channel, since then it’s been run into the ground by demography ‘numbers people’.
Wow I remember Lynne Russell. She was a monument.
currently living in Canada, a gun rights advocate, and blogging at
Once you turn left, you're forever bereft.
I remember CNN in the halcyon days of the late 1970’s when they showed the father of a boy who was kidnapped, raped and killed by a homosexual dirtbag, wait for him in the Baton Rouge airport, step out from behind a column and blow the pervs brains out. They showed it every half hour, on the hour, for a week.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi3Hyxuf5AE starts at about 40 seconds
I stopped reading right there. Did they hire any non-leftists to add any balance to their channel?? No, of course not.
Exactly right. Good job!!
If they didn’t try to think too much CNN was best for hard breaking news.
Going from conservative to liberal shows signs of MENTAL ILLNESS. This is re-enforced if you heard Turner talk recently about AGW and other leftist movements.
Leftist billionaires are dangerous hypocrites. Some, like George Soros, are pure evil.
I presume reporting the truth has never occurred to CNN’s leaders who have “tried everything”.
I hope CNN falls into complete and utter trash heep of the earth. Just like its founder Ted the fool Turner. I hope it rots in hell of new networks.
CNN acted they had a virtual monopoly on cable news until way after they did not. They thought they could get away with the kind of unctuous liberalism Walter Cronkite used to get away with when most of the country watched him. But the world changed around them.
The author of this article excuses the current leader of CNN, for no good reason.
I don’t trust CNN...
Heh heh heh...
Scum bags one and all...
Five years probation...
What, no reward?
“Why Gary why?” Seriously?
Idiot. Good for Gary.
How he thought she was going to benefit him overall, is beyond me. He could have had a broad selection of decent women to hood up with. Instead he got the Chi-com broad.
It sure did.
I’ll point out these observations.
CNN was pure news and attracted viewers because it was raw news in the making. All of this sold until the mid-90s...when they started to bring in ‘experts’, run themes of the week, and started curious slants-of-news that didn’t make much sense.
Once the monopoly disappeared...they had to have a gimmick...which was mostly an international slant that never had a factual middle-ground. More ‘experts’ started to show up....foundation freaks who voiced their stated positions...and everyone acted like it was news, when it was really cheerleading.
This new CNN? When you stand back and gaze at it....it’s a gimmick to transform into a round-the-clock Sixty Minutes network. It’ll be like a modern age Time magazine....explaining in great detail, with experts and foundation freaks appearing. the audience numbers will slide up briefing by five percent, and then fall back to less than they are today. No one reads Time anymore, and no one is going to watch a digital version of Time.
CNN, for all practical purposes, is dying. They are getting into position to be failed, lower-priced, and some Chinese media company will buy them within three years for half the value of today. CNN will move it’s headquarters out of Atlanta, and into China by 2017. Long time CNN enthusiasts will ask what happened and why the fall from grace.
The simple answer? They could not report the news any longer. They lost their edge, their passion, and their neutral view on things.
my wake-up call on CNN was the first Gulf War and the whole Arnett fiasco. Don’t thin I watched much of it since and especially since Fox came around and then CNN did the Tailwind fiasco.
What is it with the networks’ desire to have people with British accents in the screen telling Americans how awful they are?