CNN did as well in the February ratings period as Wolf Blitzer performed on Celebrity Jeopardy.
From Real Clear Politics:
Get out the defibrillator quick: CNN is dying. What other conclusion can be drawn from the Nielsen ratings from February, which showed the once dominant news network finishing in fifth place for the first time ever- and now trailing CNBC and Headline News as well as its main competitors, FOX and MSNBC?
The numbers are, as you can imagine, pretty stark. Wolf Blitzer’s show, The Situation Room, was down 44% in total viewers in February. Campbell Brown, Larry King, and Anderson Cooper all posted their lowest ratings ever in February among total viewers, declining 50%, 55%, and 59%, respectively.
It’s been almost six years since CNN hired Jonathan Klein, who previously ran CBS News during a period of chronic ratings anemia, in an attempt to turn around CNN and defeat the Fox News onslaught.
At that time, back in 2004, I made the following observation in a column:
A few days ago, CNN hired former â€˜CBS Newsâ€™ executive Jonathan Klein to run its operation. If this is how CNN plans to increase ratings, Iâ€™d say FOX News is safe.
Hiring a former CBS Newsâ€™ executive to steal FOX viewers is like a NASCAR driver, noticing that heâ€™s a lap down, scrapping his car and jumping on a pack mule.
And now even the pack mule is dying — but it still looks better than Larry King, who CNN clings to like a back-woodser who refuses to get indoor plumbing.
Klein once said this: “We report the news. Fox talks about the news.”
If Klein doesn’t think CNN “reporters” editorialize, he’s not watching his own station — along with most of the rest of America, apparently.
But compare the philosophy of the guy who runs CNN with that of the guy who runs Fox News and things become clearer.
Klein from CNN: â€œThe acquisition is in line with our strategy of acquiring and producing increased amounts of relevant wholly owned imagery.â€ (Does this guy know how to party, or what?)
Ailes from Fox News: â€œWe’re not programming to conservatives. We’re just not eliminating their point of view.â€
Cue up James Earl Jones’ booming voice for one final promo: “This was CNN.”