So why isn’t CNN U.S. president Jon Klein worried? He thinks his channel’s straight-ahead news coverage has become more valuable as his competitors draw viewers with opinion. “Last year was our most profitable year ever,” he says. “We’ve doubled our profit just in the last four years by being the only reliable provider of TV news day in and day out, online and internationally.”
Noting that CNN’s 2009 prime-time audience was higher than it was in 2005, Klein says his network has not been hurt by FNC, which he believes is in a different business with its partisan personalities. “We cover the news,” he says. “They are about fomenting outrage. They do it very well. Their viewers stay longer. That’s about a state of mind.” (A Fox News Channel spokesperson said: “We don’t respond to presidents of fifth-place news networks. The last time we looked, Jon was losing to the Weather Channel, so call us back when he and CNN regain relevancy.”) Fox News points out that its regular news programs also top CNN by wide margins.