CNN’s Next Step?


By Alex Weprin Comment

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks to Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. Walton talks about the network’s financial situation, as well as its plans to grow domestic advertising revenue and for international expansion.

Here’s his strategy in a nutshell: Build the CNN brand around the world by providing original news content that attracts viewers — and advertisers. Go after the key demographic advertisers want to reach on TV news networks — the 25-to-54-year-olds with above-average education and money.

Walton touted CNN Worldwide’s financial growth, but as usual declined to break it out. So while the combined assets of CNN/U.S., CNN International, and HLN are more profitable than ever, how each unit is performing individually is unclear.

Based on Walton’s comments, it sounds as though he views CNN International as a major growth engine:

“We’re more than one domestic network. We’re a global news business,” he said.

In the future, good business appears to mean more international expansion. Walton said he would like to “start a business or two in the next 12 to 18 months in an emerging market.” He wouldn’t say where.