Contact Us

All Things CNN is an independent blog that has no affiliation with CNN.

If you wish to contact us with tips, comments or suggestions our email is

To contact a specific CNN program please check our CNN programs link at the top of this page.

To contact CNN
click here.


All Things CNN
is now on Twitter.
twitter / AllThingsCNN

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Jautz Interview

Ad Age did a 'Fast Chat' with CNN head honcho Ken Jautz this week and we thought you might want to share with us your opinion of his talking points.

So what’s the plan for primetime?

Ken Jautz: I’d say that CNN is evolving from an organization that has always been great at covering breaking news to one that is more focused on distinctive and engaging new programs. As well as it’s expertise on breaking news. One of the principal ways we’re moving towards that goal is creating a lineup that has an overall cohesive identity—a series of shows based on quality journalism and reporting, but in which each show is distinctive and different from one another, has its own personality.

What defines the new lineup?

I’d say these shows have commonalities and differences. If you look at the overall lineup from late afternoon: it’s Wolf Blitzer followed by John King, to Erin Burnett, then Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan. They’re not shows that simply rely on He Said, She Said reporting, but they provide a lot of analysis, they provide interviews, they increasingly provide a take or insight into stories. They’re all aggressive reporters, and they all have insights that are not based on ideology. They’re based on their reporting, their experiences.

But there are differences because among them—we want to create distinctive, differentiated shows. And these are people who have different approaches and areas of expertise and different orientations. John king and Wolf Blitzer are politically oriented… and that’s reflected in their shows. Erin Burnett ha a business expertise. Then you have Anderson Cooper, who’s putting his personal stamp on stories with his expertise in the field, his focus on international news and travel. And then you’ve got Piers, who’s more focused on culture and entertainment. So these are a series of shows that have commonalities, but they’re also very distinctive from one another.

But your primetime slate features re-airs very prominently [for example, under the new lineup, Anderson Cooper 360 airs at 8 and again at 10]. Do you have plans to change that? It seems like an unusual primetime lineup.

I’m going to dispute the premise on several different fronts, actually. But before I do that, let me say that it is a lineup that we look forward to building. We’ll build it and attract a greater and greater following. That’s one.

Two, I would say that Anderson Cooper has long been at ten as a flagship show ... in this day and age, the program that a news channel runs at 8 PM basically showcases what the network stands for. And you look at Anderson Cooper; it is quality journalism, reporting-based program. And you compare that to a more conversational talk show on offer at competitive news networks at 8 o’clock, you see a real difference. It makes sense for us to put it on at 8 o’clock. It also makes sense for us to continue Anderson Cooper—he’s been at 10 for many years he has a loyal following at 10 o’clock. Lastly, another reason I dispute the premise is, it suggests that [having re-airs in primetime] is unusual. I would say that it isn't.

So this lineup is part of a clear strategy.

It’s a clear strategy. It’s not a holding pattern. It’s a focus on experienced journalists and on journalism. Also, [the 10 O’clock re-air of Anderson Cooper] has live elements as well. So what runs at 10 O’clock is not exact same thing that runs at 8 O’clock.

How is the strategy different from, say, MSNBC’s?

[At MSNBC] it’s ‘if you like ideology X at 8, Mr. or Ms. host at 9 is still ideology x, and it’s going to flow.’

I’m saying the same thing. But instead of ‘ideology,’ put in ‘quality journalism.’ But going back to your previous point: You used Piers and Anderson as examples. Piers came on in January and since that time, both Piers and Anderson’s shows are way up in ratings. It’s not like one is up and one is down.

Do you see opinion having a place at CNN?

Absolutely. The more, the better. I always say we don’t shy away from opinion, we provide more opinion than anyone else. But our opinion is not ideological. It’s not coming from one end of the political spectrum or the other. It is inclusive. It provides the viewer with all different points of view under discussion, so the viewer can make up their own mind on it.

It sounds as though you admit that, what people want in primetime, is personality and perspective.

I’ll say yes. In this day-and-age, people who are watching a news channel in primetime probably know the straightforward facts. Facts are easier to get than they ever were. By the time they get to primetime, you need to provide something of added value to them… analysis, opinion, inclusive opinion, a take on a story.

Anderson Cooper is branching off into daytime TV with a new talk show. How do you feel about that?

We’re supportive. We’re also, to some extent, working in conjunction—in that his new show is produced in this building, using one of the CNN control rooms. We’re actively supportive of the show. He is very broad in his interests and experiences and that only helps him make his CNN show better, frankly.

So you do not think there is going to be an affect on his core audience, who view him as a newsman?

I think it’s a positive thing. The broader the show, the better, the broader the talent in showcasing his or her ability to converse intelligently on a wide range of subjects, the better.

Now I tell you, before the syndicated show, we were doing similar things with AC360. One of the first things I did in this job is I put Charlie Moore in as Anderson Cooper’s wxecutive producer. We worked with Charlie to reformat the show to make it broader and bring in many elements that showcase Anderson’s interests and insights. And one of those is, we have the Keeping Them Honest segment, which was inconsistent and buried in the show. We put it at the forefront of the show. We introduced The RidicuList, which is lighter, more cultural. So, not only do I think that’s better for him and for the viewer, I think we have brought elements of that into [his CNN] show over the last nine months.

It’s a lot for one person to take on. Is his time management on your radar?

Yes. Anderson is a hard-worker…. We’ve been supportive from the beginning and we’re very aware of it. We don’t foresee problems.

Would you consider putting on a political opinion show of the sort that’s so popular on cable news outlets?

If the question is ‘Would we put on a partisan opinionated show?’ The answer is no. Would we put on a political show in which various points of view are discussed? Yes.

What is the distinction there?

We’re not ideological. That’s the difference….

There are critics in the CNN diaspora who have said that CNN has given up on primetime.

That’s ridiculous. I would point out that Piers Morgan is fifty percent higher than the show we had on in that slot. Anderson Cooper is the highest rated show [on the network]. Why wouldn’t I put it on in the hour that’s emblematic? Why wouldn’t I create a lineup that provides for better flow from show to show?

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.


Anonymous said...

Be very afraid for CNN. Does this guy even watch
CNN ? With the exception of AC 360, he didn't say
the truth about CNN shows. All CNN does is follow
the he said she said silliness in politics. Annoying
and engaging are not the same things, How in the
hell do you get journalism and reporting with PMT ?
2 words to remember as we watch the continuing
downfall of CNN : Ken Juatz. BS detecter. This guy
is nothing but Jon Klein the sequel. Dave Bohrman
was right to leave. CNN is about to get worse with
this guy. Where does CNN find these people ?

Gary Larsen said...

CNN needs to really bite the bullet and start over. They give too much credit to AC, like Larry King before him, when he actually is a clone of Geraldo at times. I could say more but too dissapointed in the linup, and feelings would come out. Bring Ted Turner back to fix it!

Anonymous said...

Gary Larsen: You rock.
My feelings exactly.
CNN will be left with egg on its face.

Anonymous said...

Anderson Cooper is hands down one of the
best journalist in the game. 360 will gradually
increase at 8 just like it has been doing at 10.
You guys are on to something, 360 has to be
live for both hours. Also, eventually CNN will
change at 9. They have to if they are serious
about fixing things. If 360 becomes the # 2
demo at 8 that is good news for CNN. 360 is
CNN's most popular show and it has growth
potential at 8. But it is going to come down
to content and presentation.

Anonymous said...

We love Anderson Cooper and would like to
thank him and his colleagues for their reporting
out of Africa. 90 % of 360 has focused on the
famine and it can end up being 2nd in the demo
for this week.We will have a more clearer picture
in the next couple of days but right now 360 is
in 3rd and is only a 24,000 demo deficit between
360 & TLW. So 360 is already making a difference
by not being 4th. The ratings were higher on
Tuesday in viewers and demo.360 rocks.

We are looking to see what happens next week
when it is an inside the studio 360 with AC ,
Isha & the Ridiculist. Keep up the good work
Team 360 and thank you for reporting from
Somalia. Finally, some relief from yelling at 8
in cable news.It is possible for 360 to find
viewers at 8.If 360 ends of being 2nd in the
demo for the month of August ,that is big.

Anonymous said...

We can only hope that CNN will drop Piers Morgan.
CNN is facing more criticism for lack of diversity.
I know someone said something about a women's
show with female journalists of ethnic diverse
backgrounds. Did CNN act like they cared at all ?
CNN could lead the pack for once here.

Anonymous said...

Why is this man trying to turn 360 into In The
Arena. Wake up fools, People are so over left
vs right talk. It has destroyed politics and the
same people own cable news. This man will
ruin 360 . In The Arena does not work moron.
Try hiring people with brains and fresh ideas..
CNN is so tired and boring. Opinion can't save
CNN. Watch as those younger viewers abandon

Anonymous said...

Ken Jautz is of limited intellect and ability.
He has no vision and is a perfect President to ruin CNN.
He doesn't want to try anything new and is clinging to old ideas that are of little value and have to be updated.
He was hand-picked by Klein because he reinforced all of Klein's ideas and had no fresh innovative new ones.
He is a clone of Piers Morgan.

Anonymous said...

Until there are big changes in the management
team, CNN will be completely worthless. Lazy.
Talking points is being portrayed as news. CNN
just gets it's ideas from Daily Beast, Huffington
Post, Drudge, etc. No one is actually doing any
reporting.CNN is cheating viewers. Reading the
interviews featuring David Bohrman sheds light
on the mindset of CNN.

Why does CNN think viewers want nothing but
politics and crime 24/7. How can you rail against
bickering by politicians when you only put folks
on your channel to do the same thing. Hypocrites.
Nobody at CNN seems to care about the news.
We now know that CNN is micro-managed by
pundit minded old men, who can even see the
changing world around them.At least we used
to be able to go to HLN to find out what was
going on each hour of the the day but Ken
Jautz removed the news from HLN as well. I am
hoping for David Bohrman to turn Current TV
into an alternative to CNN. Why would you mess
up 360. I turned the channel right at the top.
I am sick of paying for news channels and not
getting news. The only time you can find out
what is going on is 6:30 from NBC,ABC & CBS.
Ironically, they are free. Customers are paying
hundreds of dollars and can't get 1 news channel.