Bewkes' strategy hinges on taking the world-class Time Warner brands -- which include People, Real Simple, Time and Sports Illustrated among its magazines; HBO, a thriving movie division and CNN, to name a few -- and making them easily available on every possible distribution system.
Bewkes believes strongly in the "TV everywhere" and "e-reader" programs for TV and magazines, respectively.
Some media bloggers love to dump on CNN. When it started, CNN, which didn't always reek of sophistication, was mocked as the Chicken Noodle Network. In the 1990s, right-wing critics lambasted it as the Clinton News Network.
They point out that the Fox News Channel boasts many more viewers. When I interviewed NBC News chief Steve Capus recently, he was thrilled that MSNBC had made such progress, too. (Fox, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp.
Bewkes insisted that CNN "has more viewers" who "watch for shorter periods of time" than its foes. Read more about the ratings.
He was referring to all of the media platforms that CNN can be seen on. Still, CNN's foes would counter that advertisers aren't necessarily measuring the other forums when they buy spots on cable news broadcasts.
I pressed Bewkes on CNN's mission to present both sides of an issue. Yes, it's commendable for journalists to be open-minded, but -- again playing devil's advocate -- wouldn't CNN attract even more viewers if it amped up its broadcasts reports, like Fox and MSNBC often do?
"They're picking a side," Bewkes said of his rivals. "We have bigger ambitions than (leaning) left or right. We want to cover the news completely."
Plus, he suspects, "if we did too much partisan (broadcasting), we'd lose our high demographics." CNN believes it has a higher quality of viewers because it doesn't veer to the left or the right.
Bewkes feel strongly that CNN "is a very good business." He won't tinker with its format "if it means taking a partisan point of view -- one-third of the U.S. voters are independents. They don't want to see narrow-minded stuff."
Bewkes, himself, is clearly a master politician.
... to read the full article: Time Warner's Bewkes: perform or hit the road