CNN’s Walton: ‘Our journalism is the currency of the national conversation’

By Chris Ariens 

Roland Martin, Mary Matalin, David Gergen, Candy Crowley, John King and Wolf Blitzer speak as moderator Anderson Cooper looks on at CNN + HLN Newsmakers 2010 at Jazz at Lincoln Center this morning.

As we mentioned last night, CNN held its “Newsmakers” upfront for advertisers at Time Warner Center today. The presentation included separate panels made up of CNN (News) and HLN (Views) anchors. As I’m in Las Vegas at the 2010 NAB/RTDNA and Kevin is in China on non TVNewser-related business (ie. vacation) here are some of the write-ups:

Marisa Guthrie and Alex Weprin / Broadcasting & Cable: The cable news channel made its commitment to journalism the centerpiece of its presentation, which it called “Newsmakers.” “We are the only credible, non partisan voice left, and that matters,” said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. “Our traditional competitors have abandoned the field.”

Stuart Elliott / NYTimes: …executives alluded to the recent spate of news articles about CNN’s poor ratings in the first quarter as Fox News, part of the News Corporation, and MSNBC, part of NBC Universal, stay ahead of CNN in prime time. Mr. Walton referred lightly to “all the great coverage we’ve had” and [EVP of sales & marketing Greg] D’Alba said that “there’s no way” the complete story was being told about CNN’s performance.

Gillian Reagan / Business Insider: Although rival networks like Fox News and MSNBC were not named during the presentation, they were referenced in executives speeches – as a way to explain what the network doesn’t plan to do. Jonathan Klein, president for CNN U.S., said the network doesn’t plan on taking on characteristics of competitors who bring in brash hosts and parade a series of guests “who agree with him.”

Matea Gold / LATimes: “It’s not as dire as maybe some people say,” Walton said in an interview following the event, adding: “I’m not satisfied with the ratings, but I’m not concerned.” He also praised the leadership of Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S., calling him “brilliant” and a “great journalist.” For his part, Klein said in a separate interview that while he believes CNN’s prime-time shows can do a better job of engaging viewers and keeping them watching longer, he is happy with their quality.

(Photo Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)