Earlier this week, the AP posted an article about CNN's ratings struggles. Comments from CNN Worldwide President, Jim Walton were included. Below are a few exceprts:
The network could cast aside Cooper, Larry King and Campbell Brown for opinionated analysis and probably see its ratings go up, said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide.
The benefit for one arm of the company isn't worth the potential damage to others, he said.
CNN has built its business — encompassing international networks and wholesale news reports, mobile device services, a Web site, a wire service to print publications and radio — around the notion that it is delivering nonpartisan, straight news reporting, he said. The company has shown double-digit growth for the past few years and is on pace to continue. It invests by hiring more personnel, and this month opening a new production facility in Abu Dhabi.
"People hear what's being said and it's branded CNN and (they say), `OK, that's news. That's nonpartisan, that's factual, it's timely," Walton said. "That's what we want to deliver around the world. We compete against a lot more than Fox and MSNBC."
The rising fortunes of HLN means the company makes money off opinion, too. One of the reasons that network's name was changed from CNN Headline News was to avoid having CNN's name associated with that type of programming.
Of the flagship network's sagging fortunes, Walton said, "It matters to us. Trust me, it matters. We want all of our networks to grow their audiences. But the fact is, (CNN) is a vibrant, healthy company that's growing in an industry where we're pretty much one of one."
MSNBC's move to the left and Fox's ownership of the right would, theoretically, give CNN a wide middle to conquer. The problem is, that middle might be more inclined to watch Tom DeLay on "Dancing With the Stars" than on "Larry King Live."
What CNN needs is to find a way to bring the passion to stories that its rivals bring to arguments, said Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington bureau chief and now professor at George Washington University.
"Will people sit down in the evening and find news reporting interesting?" Walton asked. "That's the question, really."
CNN is still searching for the answer.
... to read the full article: CNN finding that prime-time success is elusive