Despite the professional hit that John King took by botching the network’s coverage of the Boston bombings last week, consumers seem unfazed — tuning in and turning out in droves to CNN’s coverage both on air and online.
Last week King mistakenly said police had arrested a “dark-skinned male” when they had not. While King’s flounder became fodder for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and his network presence diminished, CNN persevered and “scored its best overall day” since the Iraq War, as reported by the LAT. What’s more, CNN Digital posted its most trafficked week on record – a whopping 808 million page views, even topping the last two presidential elections.
This doesn’t mean King is off the griddle.
As Mediaite reported today, he went on a WTOP this morning and admitted that his reporting took a toll on his credibility. He called it “embarrassing” and added that, as a Boston native, it was a “sort of a double kick to the head” and a “shot to your credibility.”
Inside CNN…the view toward him is business as usual, meaning that he’s not winning popularity contests. Last June the network canned his show, “John King, USA.” Colleagues were soon surprised to see the powers that be renew his contract considering his reputation as being difficult to work with and his very public split with CNN’s Dana Bash. This year he has been off doing a Harvard Fellowship in the midst of a new network administration.
“For someone who is supposed to be a CNN headliner, it’s surprising he’d elect to be somewhat MIA for the start of the A.Z. Era (After Zucker),” a network observer thought aloud to FishbowlDC.
With the next big election years away and several public skewerings to his credit, is King shifting to a place of irrelevance?