CNN Takes a Victory Lap in Midst of 2016 Campaign

By Chris Ariens 

This month CNN will take part in two advertiser presentations: the Turner upfront on May 18 and a digital content NewFront this Wednesday for its 6-month-old Great Big Story.

Ahead of the presentations, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker is touting CNN’s ratings and revenue growth, with great big thanks to the 2016 election. One line in the Wall Street Journal story stands out about a pre-Zucker CNN.

“I think it was a legitimate criticism of CNN that it was a little too liberal,” Mr. Zucker said. “We have added many more middle-of-the-road conservative voices to an already strong stable of liberal voices. And I think that we are a much more-balanced network and, as a result, a much more inviting network to a segment of the audience that might not have otherwise been willing to come here.”

CNN’s competitors quickly pounced. “It only took them 35 years to realize there’s actually another point of view in this country,” a Fox spokesperson said. “I think the only direction they have tacked is toward Trump,” added NBC/MSNBC spokesman Mark Kornblau.

As for how CNN (or Fox News or MSNBC for that matter) plans to maintain the ratings growth when this election cycle winds down, Zucker isn’t saying yet. “I don’t want to give everything away because that would give our competitors the way we are thinking about it. I sound a bit like Donald Trump. Now I begin to understand his reasoning.”