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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

CNN Crisis Call: TW Eyes Big Guns To Revive Network

CNN crisis call: Time Warner eyes big guns to revive network
Time Warner execs have reached out to media heavyweights, including Sony Chairman Howard Stringer, as they cast about for a new chief to revive the moribund cable news network, The Post has learned.
Phil Kent, who runs the Turner Broadcasting division of Time Warner, and his boss, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, are taking their time replacing outgoing CNN chief Jim Walton, whose contract expires at the end of the year.
Walton confirmed his exit in July after the once-dominant cable news network slumped to its lowest ratings in nearly two decades, saying the network was in need of “fresh thinking.”
Kent has been meeting secretly with potential candidates and is under pressure to come up with a leader who can breathe new life into CNN, which critics have attacked as deadly dull.
While its primetime US ratings, in particular, barely register a pulse, the global network remains a cash cow for the company.
“It’s a hard job to fill,” said one source familiar with the search. “You’d like to have somebody with cable news experience, operations, editorial and business news skills.”
Stringer is a former news chief who rose through the corporate ranks to take the helm of Japanese media and electronics giant Sony. He led CBS News for two years and then the network before joining Sony in 1997.
Stringer stepped down as Sony’s CEO in the spring but stayed on as chairman. His office declined to comment.
Sources said Time Warner will likely look at other broadcast-news chiefs including Neal Shapiro, who led NBC News, and David Westin, the former president of ABC News.
Former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker is on the consideration list as well, said sources familiar with the search.
“We should know something in a month, perhaps before the elections,” said one CNN insider. “Unlike CNN International, we just don’t have someone with a mission.
“We need our Roger Ailes,” the source said, referring to the chief of Fox News, which toppled ratings leader CNN years ago and has since widened its lead.
Time Warner execs are also getting help internally. Sources say HBO boss Richard Plepler is playing a key role in advising Bewkes.
Bewkes, speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference last week, said CNN was in the process of being “reinvigorated.” “I know we’ve said it before,” he said. “We’re really working hard at it.”
The search for a new chief comes at a critical time, as Time Warner is entering talks with distributors to renew carriage deals for its portfolio of cable channels including TNT, TBS, CNN and HLN.
In the third quarter, which included both the Olympics and the September political conventions, CNN saw a 14 percent decline among viewers ages 25 to 54 years old, its key audience for advertisers.
By comparison, MSNBC recorded a 10 percent uptick, while Fox News fell 13 percent. (News Corp. owns Fox and The Post.)

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


Anonymous said...

Well, maybe next time, when someone like Rachel Maddow comes knocking on CNN's door, which she did in 07,
they wouldn't look the other way because she hadn't made a name for herself, yet.
You have to have the ability to recognize talent, and potential, and nobody at CNN knows how to do they're last, and they're desperate and they deserve to be.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Anderson Cooper left ABC World News to do The Mole then declined to do a second season of The Mole because he had mentioned that he wanted to do something new. In a way if I remember clearly, he gets bored quickly and likes change. After The Mole, he focused on CNN. It now seems that his number one priority is his daytime talk show. AC360° has become such a boringly bad show that I haven't watched it in over a month. I say all this because I strongly feel that once the election is over, Anderson Cooper will end AC360°, perhaps even leave CNN, getting out of his contract early. He will focus on his daytime show for the next year or so until it is cancelled then will easily get hired again elsewhere once he realizes he misses the news. In the meantime along with his daytime show, he would have 60 minutes to get his news fix done. Who knows what will happen though, this is just all my personal view. I wouldn't be sad to see him leave CNN unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Eye opening posts Anonymous 11:56 and 5:05.
Losing Anderson wouldn't hurt CNN at all, I think they need a complete makeover.
His ratings are just as low all of the other media show on CNN. I started watching him two years ago when his media show was good. Now he has the same people on daily and they all just sit there and complain about the Obama administration. Sometimes I think I am watching the FNC because of all the negative conversation.

Anonymous said...

Really, CNN turned down Maddow?!?! Well that confirms they are idiots. Yeah, she's a leftie, but she could do a news show every bit as good as Anderson and I would bet he leans politically left privately but tries to play it straight. Yeah, I would have thought CNN would really be hurt by Anderson leaving but now I'm not so sure. Problem is, who would replace him? Burnett? Oh please. Morgan? They are already trying to make him the flagship show and it is failing miserably. Soledad is good but I hate to say it but Starting Point is a ratings disaster. Given CNN's and Anderson's predilection for celebrity suck-ups, I wouldn't be sad to see him leave either. Go, get outta here, go play with Ripa and Beyonce. Even Wolf can be an annoying name-checkin' twerp, he's just not as bad as the other celeb-whores. But who else then? CNN is in a real pinch and they have taken way too long to replace Walton and show no signs of getting rid of Jautz either. Fox on the right, MSNBC on the left, who is doing the straight news?

Anonymous said...

8:54PM and 5:05AM You make perfect sense about Anderson Cooper.
Even if he's not done with 360, because of his whoppying big salary, the viewers have had it, quite frankly.
He's become tiresome and no matter what you may think of Piers Morgan, he's out doing Cooper every nite according to TVN ratings.
I say cut him lose. He'll be picked up soon enough but not for the salary he's getting now.
Unfortunately, he too, now lacks a loyal following.
You know the saying...those who stay at the party too long, and don't know when to leave...etc.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the conversation going on in this blog post. Hopefully when CNN knows who will possibly replace Walton "in the next month, before the election", they can immediately begin changes with programming. I'm sure that CNN will be #1 on election night considering they are always on top in ratings during major breaking news and other big events. They need to have the best programming they can possibly have the following day on Wednesday November 7th. Test out to see what works hopefully, and make any slight changes if needed come Inauguration time in January when I assume CNN will be on top again. I definitely think that daytime needs to revert back to double anchors like how it used to be instead of single anchors. I love the idea of permanently pairing Brooke Baldwin and John Berman in the mornings. I think it would be great to extend Newsroom International to 2 hours and have it hosted by Michael Holms and Hala Gorani. I agree that Anderson Cooper should just go ahead and leave CNN considering it's almost as if he doesn't care. I'm shocked Erin Burnett is still at CNN. Next week marks her one year there. Honestly, 7PM through 9PM is unwatchable for me at least. I have to admit that Piers Morgan has gotten better. Loved his interviews with Jesse Ventura (I think a live audience was great), the interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as was the interview with Bill Clinton. He is a good interviewer and I think people just need to be patient with his accent. I wasn't too happy about him on CNN at first but it seems like he isn't going anywhere, and if they must keep him, at least fix the show a little bit. I don't like the "how many times have you been properly in love" question. Does anyone really care? I also do feel that it would be perhaps a good idea to move him to weekends, but again that's just me. My absolute favorite show on CNN now is The Situation Room. Very lively and informative and I love the new set. Wolf Blitzer is awesome. I think Kate Bolduan is a fantastic addition to the 6PM hour. I also feel that Soledad O'Brien has better potential in prime time and not her awful morning program. I am not liking the opinionated turn CNN is taking. If not prime time with a new show for her, she is absolutely best at sticking to documentaries. Good luck CNN!

Anonymous said...

@10:25pm - VERY WELL SAID. Piers does better with celebrities than serious people - asking Ahmadinejad about being properly in love was bone-headed and the question in general is dumb. Piers has his moments but they have been to far and few in between. There has been improvement in the last few months - much better guests with only a few exceptions. I agree, put him on weekends - do we need that kind of show every night? Soledad was great when filling in for AC this summer. She is a fantastic interviewer. The morning show is not gaining traction and her talents are wasted there. I am not a fan of Brooke Baldwin but the morning is a much better fit for her. I really like John Berman - for once CNN got it right when hiring him. Wolf and Kate are good together and TSR plus Newsroom International are the best hours of CNN. Suzanne is a good host but I never understood why CNNI folks seem banned from anchoring CNN shows. Why? Hala is AWESOME!
Let's face it, AC has lost his mojo. Like @9:10pm said, go play with your celebrity friends Anderson and take Erin Burnett with you. I can't believe she is still there either but I think CNN seems to be hunkering down and not making any moves until new management arrives. Pity really, I don't think they have that much time to waste. @10:25pm, I wish I shared your optimism about CNN getting back on top in the ratings. MSNBC has jumped ahead and CNN's claim in being number one during big news events has been slipping for the last year. Fox beats them even in non-political events and MSNBC beat them in primetime coverage of the DNC. Post Convention, MSNBC is posting big ratings numbers and CNN has totally deflated. Piers right now is holding up CNN primetime and that was supposed to be Anderson's job. Even at that, Piers is totally underperforming compared to other cable news networks. Burnett is a miserable failure of a lead-in but instead they scapegoated the decline on the MUCH LOWER PAID John King. They just can't admit Burnett was a high dollar blunder of epic proportions. Did they need another business correspondent? Ali, Christine, Poppy all do great covering business. For pete's sake, Erin is getting hammered by a rerun of Hardball!?!?! That should be a perfect hour for CNN to get competitive. Same thing with the morning - I think people are getting tired of loudmouth Joe Scarborough and fashionista wannabe Mika. MSNBC is vulnerable in the morning and from 6pm - 8pm. Watch out though, MSNBC has a deep bench and they can make big changes in a hurry. CNN will never peel off Fox viewers - they are a loyal bunch. Unfortunately, CNN is fresh out of talent. Rarely do they cultivate in house and that has caught up to them. I would like to see Burnett and Cooper go, but as others have said, who takes their place?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:59, excellent post.

Watching CNN is like eating air, you get filled with absolutely nothing.
How many live news reports do you get from this network that claims to be the World's News Leader? You'll certainly get a live political report with the latest gaffes, gossip and speculations, but what about actual news?
And as far as politics, they fail at that too. The only political news you get from CNN is strictly Obama or Romney. You do not get the political news from all across the spectrum. No senate or congressional news unless someone has done something wrong. But that is the diretion CNN is going - crime tv. The only continuous news you will get from CNN is a shootout or hostage situation. Then they go from covering the situation to exploiting it. This new president really needs to be able to lead the news directors, producers and anchors and get them back to actual news gathering and producing quality news cast. The little news you do get from CNN is all covered in 10 minutes of headlines that they then repeat continously and they wonder why viewers are leaving in droves.

Anonymous said...

@10:25PM: Here's a bet.
CNN will not be #1 this election eve.
How do I know?
Because the writing is on the wall and it says MSNBC will over take them like they have in the past.
CNN is dry toast and they no longer have a loyal audience here in the US...maybe over seas, but not here.
I do agree that Wolf Blitzer stays superb, no matter what.
He's a true anchor in more ways than one....and this Titanic sure needs an anchor.

Anonymous said...

The problem with CNN management is not just one person.

Replacing Walton is important -- but a clean sweep needs to be made of the senior management who have gotten CNN into such a mess.

Katherine Green dumbed down CNN International and let lots of good reporters go.

Parisa Khosravi plays political games and prevents reporters from (*gasp*) actually reporting. Removing her would boost morale worldwide.

Jautz and Whitaker constantly duelling have CNN Domestic staff tied up in knots.

Maddox's 'I don't want to hear about problems' approach means problems drag on & on. That might mean that he looks squeaky clean -- but it also means that nothing gets solved.

Walton allowed all this game-playing by overpaid manipulative senior VP's for years.

No matter how good his replacement is, if the underlying rot of bad CNN management stays - the network won't improve.

We can argue all day about whether AC should stay or go -- or why Erin Burnett was hired etc etc

But unless the senior management change, morale will stay low among staff and good production people will continue to leave.

Walton's replacement needs to come in with a big axe !!

Anonymous said...

@11:57pm, I totally agree as would most followers of this blog. Many people in CNN management need to go. Morale is low but so is the quality of the product. There is no vision or cohesion and that is a direct result of poor management. All that being said, they need a serious re-org of on-air talent. Come up with a plan that revolves around serious, substantial journalism and any on-air personality that can't uphold that standard should be booted. If Jautz and Whitaker can't play nice, fire them both. Hell, fire them both just to show you are not screwing around. Neither one of them have shown an ability to improve CNN. Fire Bewkes for watching it all happen. Fire Erin to show you can admit a mistake and let Anderson go just to prove you are not a news organization dependent on one fading star.

As you can tell, I wouldn't bring in an axe, I would bring in a flame thrower. :-)

Anonymous said...

I have a random comment. I would love if CNN hired Ann Curry. Not sure why she is still at NBC. I can see her in prime time as the new Anderson Cooper. Her field reporting would be great.

Anonymous said...

Anon@ 9/28 10:25am
I totally agree. I can't believe she stayed with NBC after they screwed her. Landing the interview with the Libyan President was a major get and it was wasted on the Today show. Then again, given CNN's ratings, I guess Today got more viewers. Still, she is a good international reporter. CNN could use more like Curry and less of the vacuous Wall Streeter Burnett.

Anonymous said...

Anon @11:22AM
Yes, watching CNN is like eating air - good analogy. So many times I have CNN on in the background and I check in now and again and constantly think either "who cares" or yeah, "I already knew that." MSNBC is making headway because they finally learned how to build an identity and they aren't afraid to go deep on policy issues. They will wade into the weeds without fear that their audience will lose interest. CNN constantly acts like they are the smart ones talking down to the mediocre masses watching tv. They have refined condescension to a fine art. MSNBC is like chatting about the news with your smart friends. I don't get that sense with CNN.

Anonymous said...

The low ratings are ignored brushed aside and so easily explained by the CNN administration. But notice when they actually have a now very rare ratings win, they celebrate and air misleading advertisements.
They can't keep dragging their feet and making excuses.
The viewers are leaving daily and the CNN folks don't seem to care. I agree the entire CNN upper management staff needs to go.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with @11:57 and @9:44 who want to bring an axe and a flamethrower to the overpaid, unmotivated senior CNN management who are ultimately responsible for the decline of the network.

Another guilty culprit is senior VP is Ellana Lee, based in Hong Kong, who has dumbed down and downsized CNN across Asia.

For those of you who remember, CNN used to be very strong in covering news in Asia. Great reporters like Mike Chinoy would get exclusives in North Korea and CNN's Tianmanen Square coverage was top notch.

Other great correspondents like Tom Mintier and John Lewis were 'old Asia hands' who knew the region and reported the stories well.

CNN competed and beat the heavyweight BBC on Asian stories time and time again. That depth and experience was clear in CNN's coverage.

Now, management has reduced CNN in Asia (where more than half the people in the world live) to a shadow of it's former self.

Telling viewers what is 'trending on Twitter', or interviewing B-list celebs is not reporting the news in Asia.

Shame on CNN management. They make annual salaries of over a million dollars while ship is sinking.