The Other McCain

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CNN President Jim Walton Resigns; Network Stuck in Third Place

Posted on | July 27, 2012 | 22 Comments

Associated Press:

CNN chief Jim Walton said Friday he is quitting, saying the company needs new leadership at a time its flagship U.S. network is suffering through some of its poorest ratings ever.
Walton built the company into a profitable international news organization in his 10 years as president of CNN Worldwide, and said it is on track for record profits this year. But the U.S. network is the most visible part of the business and is now entrenched in third place behind rivals Fox News Channel and MSNBC in prime time

Let’s see if we can’t locate your problem, OK, Jim?

Your idea of a morning anchor is Soledad O’Brien, and Nielsen ratings indicate she’s slightly more popular than syphilis.

Your primetime anchor is so obviously gay that when he finally “came out,” no one cared. He’s the Liberace of network anchors. NTTAWWT, except that Anderson Cooper’s getting out-gayed (not to mention out-machoed) by Rachel Maddow.

Seriously: Maddow’s Nielsen ratings at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC (997,000 viewers, 294,000 in the key 25-54 demographic) are better than Cooper’s CNN ratings at 8 p.m. (507K/147K).

In general, Jim — with the exception of hiring Erin Burnett — your eye for on-air talent hasn’t been impressive. There has been a horrible inertia problem at CNN, which has accumulated a bunch of unexciting dead-weight personalities that nobody else wants to hire. I mean, the last time you negotiated Wolf Blitzer’s contract, did you ever get any indication that you were bidding against some other network for his services? If CNN cut Wolf loose next week, is it possible that he might land at NBC or Fox or even Current TV?

In consideration of the facts, Jim, I was rather amused by the self-congratulatory tone of your farewell note:

I am proud of what we have accomplished together over these last 10 years – innovative programming, the development of great talent in front of and behind the cameras, expansion in digital and mobile, significant investment and expansion in international coverage, financial success and, most importantly, great and trusted journalism.  Thank you for the role you have played in our successes.

“Our successes”! If CNN can continue your 10-year record of “successes,” they’ll be lucky to beat Home Shopping Network in the Nielsens.


22 Responses to “CNN President Jim Walton Resigns; Network Stuck in Third Place”

  1. smitty
    July 27th, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    @rsmccain He’s tanned, he’s rested, he’s rarin’ for a fight: let CNN bring on. . .drumroll. . .Keith Olbermann. For the win!

  2. Don Surber
    July 27th, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    Dan Rather. He’ll forge some fake but accurate ratings for CNN.

  3. JeffS
    July 27th, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    Gee, you say that the channel which dominates and inundates America’s airports is in third place for ratings?  

    Hmmmmmmm!  I wonder how that could ever happen? 

  4. Charles
    July 27th, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    Piers Morgan was also a good hire. Cleaning out  the ex-Clinton staffers would be a good first step for the successor.

  5. Adjoran
    July 27th, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

     Righto – has the Stuart Varney accent without all the annoying substance and intelligence.

  6. Adjoran
    July 27th, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

    I remember a time, back in the early ’80s at the dawn of widespread multi-channel cable TV, back when CNN was new.  CNN was considered the alternative news on TV, the place to check without the major biases of the networks.

    Long gone, I fear.  CNN became eventually the Clinton News Network, and never fully recovered.

  7. lawrencedunn1
    July 27th, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    Wait a minute. The getting of syphillis entails a moment or so of actual enjoyment.

  8. DaveO
    July 27th, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    “Walton built the company into a profitable international news organization in his 10 years as president of CNN Worldwide, and said it is on track for record profits this year.”

    Primary means of doing that was promoting anti-Americanism. It worked and CNN’s decision-makers enjoyed the money. Walton sought to bring what made him successful with America-haters to Americans.

    Soledad Obrien and Anderson Cooper are only the tip of the iceberg. The producers, editors, reporters – everything that underpins CNN, are equally corrupted.

  9. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    July 27th, 2012 @ 3:30 pm
  10. richard mcenroe
    July 27th, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

    Let’s put this in perspective.  Forget the big shots like Ace and Malkin et al: more people have visited MY ittybitty blog than watch Rachel Maddow on a regular basis.

  11. richard mcenroe
    July 27th, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

     And that’s just sad for both of us.

  12. CNN in Third Place, Network Boss Resigns | hogewash
    July 27th, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

    […] in Third Place, Network Boss Resigns Posted on 27 July, 2012 by wjjhoge CNN is in third place in the cable news ratings? Who knew? I haven’t been trapped in an airport waiting area for a […]

  13. Mortimer Snerd
    July 27th, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

    I can remember even further back to when all we had was Huntley-Pinkley and Walter Comrade. 

    Regarding CNN, I must confess I do sometimes watch Erin, usually with the volume turned down :>)

  14. AnonymousDrivel
    July 27th, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

    I said just the other day, this is a job for Tina Brown and… BOOM, there’s an opening.

    C’mon, CNN. Do it! Commit hare kari. Let TB be your guide.

  15. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    July 27th, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    NBC must be feeling bad for CNN, so NBC decided to blow coverage of the opening games ceremony for the Olympics as some strange sign of support.   I mean NBC had to pay millions in fees and in “gifts” to IOC members to get those TV rights.  Why would they not bother to stream the opening ceremony?  What other explanation makes sense?  

  16. McGehee
    July 27th, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

    When it comes to the Olympics, NBC has for decades never missed an opportunity to screw the pooch.

    I don’t say “always” because I seem to recall they did okay with the witer games in 1972. That was NBC, right? Hard to believe now.

    Occurs to me now I could have left the first six words off that first paragraph…

  17. DaveO
    July 27th, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

    Only if you’re not making any $$ off of the visits.

  18. Quartermaster
    July 27th, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

    You’re starting to get it. Stick around here long enough and it comes by osmosis.

  19. Adjoran
    July 27th, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

     I perceive you haven’t met Ms. Marcotte yet.

  20. Adjoran
    July 27th, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

     I’ll say this much for Wolf Blitzer:  at least sometimes he shows that he knows he is way out of his depth and gamely trying to keep up.  Soledad, Anderson, and so many others exude the belief that their job title confers absolute expertise on every subject. 

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  22. John Higgins1990
    July 28th, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    I’m traveling, I’m tired, I finally make it to my gate and all I want to do is sit down.  But CNN is blaring on a TV nearby.  So I get up and walk around some more…