Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes appeared on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Fox News Channel this afternoon. Cavuto got Bewkes to open up about the departures of Rick Sanchez and Jon Klein, and the state of CNN and cable news more generally.
Cavuto: You mention CNN. Rick Sanchez, the fired anchor, moments ago issued a statement, an apology… would you hire him back?
Bewkes: He did a lot of good work on CNN and anything is possible. I wish him well. I think that he is a talented guy and he will have a lot of interest in different channels and, who knows, maybe some day the right place for him is at one of ours. I don’t think we should do that now and I am sure he would like to try something new as well.
Cavuto: Did you recommend firing him?
Bewkes: I was not involved in that decision.
Cavuto: At all?
Bewkes: I knew
Cavuto: Did you agree?
Bewkes: I did.
Cavuto: What happened with head of CNN/US? [Jon Klein] did you recommend he be fired?
Bewkes: Jon did a very good job and a lot of what Jon did was done with the support and agreement of Jim [Walton] and me and I think we got to the point where we need to make a change and that is why we made this structural change… I don’t think it surprised him.
Cavuto: You were speaking to the London Telegraph not long ago, but when you talked about CNN, you said that it needs much deeper balanced coverage of the big issues to compete. what did you mean by that?
Bewkes: that is something that Fox might think about as well, which is a little more breadth of spectrum in terms of the issues that you cover. You may not want to do that but that is what we are trying to do at CNN. We think, by the way, there is plenty of room for all of us. I think CNN can continue to deepen the coverage that it is bringing to the issues, and we are very strong on breaking news, whether it is war, big events in the world, and elections where we had our high ratings with the elections a couple of years ago.
Cavuto: When you talked about balanced coverage did you say it leaned left? nowhere? or what?
Bewkes: We need to cover all sides of the issues. We have to get more in-depth and all of us, everyone in TV news and I am sure you have thought of this, there is a real challenge to keep what you are saying on TV–including what we are saying right now–keep it interesting, keep the audience from going to sleep and I hope they are not snoring as we talk and get into the issues. and besides the depth of the issue get all sides of the issue.