CNN’s Jon Klein to Staff: We Refuse to do the Things that Might Get us a Quick Number or Cater to the Extremes that Would Alienate our Core Viewers

By Chris Ariens 

On a day when a host of stories are headlining CNN’s fourth place finish in prime time demo for the month, CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein spent a few minutes of his morning editorial phone call to reassure the troops. “We are the lucky ones,” he concludes, in a transcript of the meeting obtained by TVNewser:

Yes, our ratings in prime were down in October. Remember – we are a 24hr network – not a 3hr network. We are also just one network in a group that attracts hundreds of millions of viewers a month. Media writers might not understand that. Our competitors don’t either. Despite the bad press we don’t lose sight of OUR business. We, CNN/U.S., still attracts millions and millions of viewers a month, more than our closest competitors. Writers don’t talk about our users — we are on air and on line, globally — rather they break it down to one part of the day.

Excellent journalism is what we are focused on. We refuse to do the things that might get us a quick number or cater to the extremes that would alienate our core viewers. It’s important to work at it every day – it’s our mission. It’s the key to our growth. If we are outstanding ALL the time (and we are getting better and better at it) we will have an impact over time.

I’m convinced of it, as is Jim Walton, Phil Kent and Jeff Bewkes. And to top it off, we get to have fun doing the GREAT journalism. We are the lucky ones.