Report: Morale taking a hit at CNN

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

“What’s wrong at CNN?”

With a Politico.com headline like that, you know what’s coming next isn’t all that complimentary.

In fact, the political website, citing folks inside the Atlanta-based “founder of the cable news genre” and pointing to declining ratings, says there is a big fear that CNN has pretty much lost its way as viewers opt for more partisan programming on Fox News and MSNBC.

In this highly charged election year, those rivals want nothing to do with CNN’s straight and narrow nonpartisan approach to newsgathering and delivery, and their growing audience shares at CNN’s expense suggest their partisan and personality driven strategies are working.

To both CNN insiders and outside observers, according to Politico’s three-page report, the network that Ted Turner started in 1980 is now delivering lackluster and stale primetime programming, which reflects the lack of “a cohesive editorial strategy.” The network is seeing its lowest ratings since the first Gulf War, attracting fewer viewers in the second quarter of this year than at any time in the past 21 years, according to Politico. Morale is also at a low point, the report says.

While the network continues to rake in millions in operating profits, mainly due to its global newsgathering operation and the millions cable and satellite distributors pay to carry its programming, Politico says Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes has ordered the network’s top brass to find a solution to its programming issues.

It doesn’t seem, however, that one of the options is moving either to the left or right, which Sam Feist, who oversees CNN’s political coverage, referred to as “picking sides.”

Said a spokesman to Politico, “[W]e always want higher ratings, but not at the expense of nonpartisan, quality journalism.”

278 comments Add your comment

What?

June 27th, 2012
1:28 pm

When did CNN become nonpartisan? Maybe thats the problem, they claim they are but slant to the left.

frugal voter

June 27th, 2012
1:29 pm

Don’t watch any of them. Get all the news that fit to print, in print.

richard

June 27th, 2012
1:29 pm

I would like to see CNN get in the game. By that I mean they should search for the truth. Spend the prime time discussing what is true and what is not including covering what is said on Fox and MSNBC. Show clips and evaluate. State facts that CNN believe to be true like the earth is round or health care would do X.. Challenge guests who don’t agree with CNN Facts. That puts CNN in the game as the arbitrator of truth.

only the ajc

June 27th, 2012
1:29 pm

Only the ajc would think CNN is bipartisan. Clearly leans to the left. Soldedad in the morning almost falls over she leans so far.

richard

June 27th, 2012
1:31 pm

And stop covering news we can just as easily get on the internet, you are always late and its boring.

dawg tired

June 27th, 2012
1:31 pm

“Straight and narrow non partisan approach”?

Listening to Wolf Blitzer’s dissapointment over Scott Brown’s victory in WI said it all.

NB

June 27th, 2012
1:32 pm

this is a joke right??

straight and narrow nonpartisan approach to newsgathering and delivery

Doc Hollidawg

June 27th, 2012
1:32 pm

This really brings into focus the crux of the problem for CNN…I think most people don’t see them as non-partisan.

Dr Fever

June 27th, 2012
1:33 pm

Seriously? Someone cares? Who in the world would watch this crap anyway? And the print game is not any better. I would rather be uninformed than to sift through the crap to glean one or two items that may mean something. If you watch any of these, you are retired or bed-bound.

Big Al

June 27th, 2012
1:33 pm

CNN hired ignorant, no-talent bimbos Campbell Brown and Erin Burnett and gave them their own shows (which nobody watches). That should tell you why CNN’s ratings are in the dumpster. Maybe if they hired some actual journalists then there ratings would improve.

BILLY MAYS HERE

June 27th, 2012
1:34 pm

Well I see the Fox News cheerleaders have already arrived

Todd Pritchett

June 27th, 2012
1:35 pm

CNN would let 2 sides banter back and forth for 30 minutes whether the world is flat or round in between reporting on celebrities or a missing white child.
Of course FOX is worse but they have an audience for their one sided world view backed up with lies and deception.
Morning Joe on MSNBC is fair, but the rest is the opposite of FOX…all biased opinion.
For CNN to get their rating out of the toilet why not try reporting news and with a heavy emphasis on facts and correcting people who spout “misinformation”.
Do not let politicians spout things that are not true. Put them on a 30 min delay and score them afterwards with facts or have a “truth meter” shown in the corner of the screen.
Do not report ANY celebrity news except when someone dies. If you must report on their lives then only on a special show.
When a religious Zealot starts quoting the bible to condemn homosexuals have a journalist that knows the bible quote other scriptures back to them to see if they believe and practice those scriptures as well. When reporting on anything scientific have scientist there to correct the Politicians.
Ditto for Health care, the environment, Unemployment, the debt, etc.
CNN..become the Bad**s, no B***t news network and watch your rating soar.

steve

June 27th, 2012
1:35 pm

CNN is by far the most neutral news source on television. Yes, in some stories (some journalists in particular) there is a slight lean to the left. But they do a far better job of maintaining neutrality than does Fox or MSNBC. I’m a conservative that prefers CNN over the others. Both Fox and MSNBC drive me crazy.

JT

June 27th, 2012
1:36 pm

“Straight and narrow nonpartisan approach to newsgathering and delivery.’ That comment alone says all you need to know about the reporting at the AJC.

Bill

June 27th, 2012
1:37 pm

Straight and non partisan? You credibility as an objective writer just took a hit.

Furious Styles

June 27th, 2012
1:37 pm

All the news outlets can take a year off as far as I’m concerned. News is nothing but a race for ratings. Negativity, scandal, death, greed and war are chosen for coverage over adversity, accomplishment, and success.

El Mongol

June 27th, 2012
1:37 pm

Two problems at CNN they lean to the left, but apparently or so partisan they do not even realize it. Secondly, they focus way too much attention on their “Celebrity” Anchors. Get some real news people in there and focus on both sides of an issue.

Get Real

June 27th, 2012
1:38 pm

Absolutely agree with most of the comments, only a very left leaning newspaper would view CNN as straight down the middle. CNN has definitely titled left, not sure exactly when the left drift started but they are surely there….

Chris

June 27th, 2012
1:39 pm

I definitely see CNN as nonpartisan as compared to MSNBC and Fox News, each of which, as a moderate, I find unwatchable. CNN is definitely a lot closer to the middle than these channels, which is obvious to anyone who’s not a partisan liberal or conservative.

Jeff

June 27th, 2012
1:41 pm

El Mongol, your comment is revealing. You have been trained to believe that issues have “two sides.”

globeflyer

June 27th, 2012
1:42 pm

Anyone who thinks that CNN is “neutral” on anything political is delusional. As I I have had to watch their “news” for years, in airports, I am bemused, to say the least, in watching them squirm. They have some of the most racially-biased reporting of any channel, and, in most cases, wouldn’t report the FACTS ONLY, if their survival depended on it…..oh, I guess I just answered my own comment. Sink, or swim, CNN.

Biased

June 27th, 2012
1:43 pm

CNN is left. As everyone else says, if they think they are nonpartisan, that is their problem. AJC has the exact same problem. They are grossly misaligned with their readership. So, like a few said, AJC would naturally think CNN is nonpartisan.

I read and watch Fox to get the right, and I read and watch CNN to get the left. Then, I follow-up on my own to figure out which side is telling the truth.

If there were such a thing as a nonpartisan online news agency, I would probably have to vote for USA Today.

Darin

June 27th, 2012
1:43 pm

There are some funny comments here from people flabbergasted to find out for the first time CNN is non-partisan compared to FOX and MSNBC.

Apparently when you’re all the way over to the right, your perspective is skewed so that something in the middle looks like it’s on the left.

news junkie

June 27th, 2012
1:44 pm

I WANT a non-partisan report. CNN is the most neutral of the three–FOX (hard right), MSNBC (now, far left–they’re the Fox news for Democrats).

At CNN, I’ve grown weary of Kyra’s and Fredericka’s fake laughs, and I wish Wolf wouldn’t ~sing his reports (they all have a definite, same rhythm).

I wish they’d revive Talk Back Live; and the head of the medical team should be replaced (not Sanjay or Liz; the folks in NY who call the shots); need new blood (no pun intended).

The HLN crew is nice, but could perhaps utilize a new format.

Richey

June 27th, 2012
1:44 pm

If you want to know the truth , regardliess of what people say ..go to Fox, they tell it like it is, CNN covers up.

jose

June 27th, 2012
1:45 pm

FOXNEWS IS EXTREMELY RIGHT, JUST AS MSNBC IS EXTREMELY LEFT. JUST TRY AND PERSEVERE ANY OF THEM FOR AN HOUR.

Motocross Survivor

June 27th, 2012
1:46 pm

Hopefully the other mainstream Zionist approved mainstream talking head channels will follow. Are people finally getting fed up with the lies?

Yowza

June 27th, 2012
1:46 pm

Did any of you watch CNN’s coverage of the GOP primaries? CNN would have a token GOP’er and the rest of their panel would consist of left wing loons. If Erick Erickson wasn’t such an irritating twit I would have felt bad for him during those primary shows and having to deal with those panelists. I’m pretty sure Axelrod was on a phone directing the programming just out of the camera’s sight.

Joe

June 27th, 2012
1:47 pm

Only hard core conservative Republicans think CNN is left/Democrat. The same people that think the “media” is liberal. MSNBC and Fox News are biased, left and right respectively. I can’t watch the news on those stations and the opinion injected thereto. CNN in right down the middle.

kay

June 27th, 2012
1:47 pm

Amen! BILLY MAYS HERE, But instead of calling them cheerleaders, I call them Robots, They are program to repeat everything the personality at the time is saying, No free thinking.

albert

June 27th, 2012
1:50 pm

Well their problem is that being the Conservative News Network doesn’t work. All of the other networks nicely fill the world with the rightwing agenda instead of news.

CNN, go back to news. The others are not CNN”s competition, they are E!’s competition or Animal Planet’s competition etc etc.

Get Real

June 27th, 2012
1:51 pm

I am curious for those that think FOX is hard right..no doubt it is right leaning but do you equate a few shows to speak for the 24 broadcast such as Hannity which I just can’t watch or have you truly watched other news shows such as 1-3 with Megan Kelly or 6-7 with Brett Baier….again just curious

OTP

June 27th, 2012
1:51 pm

What’s CNN?

Glenn

June 27th, 2012
1:53 pm

If CNN executives really believe they are non-partisan, then I can help diagnose their problem – they are in denial. Richard above actually has a good idea of them becoming an arbitrator of truth. I might tune in if they would disect what Fox and MSNBC are saying and separate the chaff from the wheat.

phil tobelson

June 27th, 2012
1:53 pm

Hire Will McAvoy and the ACN team

dre

June 27th, 2012
1:54 pm

when someone tells me they work at CNN, I immediately think minimum wage. there’s your low morale right there.

roswellian

June 27th, 2012
1:54 pm

Only in the AJC vent is their more misinformation and ignorance than in many of these postings, mostly from people who don’t know or can’t discern the difference between news gathering/ reporting and opinion columns, shows, etc. Anyone who insists on repeating the tired cliche about the “left” AJC either hasn’t been paying attention or doesn’t know what s/he’s talking about. Maybe one of you could point to an example of the AJC’s leftist news gathering and reporting.

Mark

June 27th, 2012
1:55 pm

CNN should renegotiate its cable contracts and add live streaming to its entire lineup and add over-the-air broadcasting, teaming up with local affiliates who can multiplex broadcast using their spectrum. The best way to emphasize being a non-partisan news outlet is to choose to provide access to as many people as possible.

albert

June 27th, 2012
1:56 pm

Get Real, it’s irrelevant if the program is Hannity or a day time show, Fox programs, all have marching orders straight from Aisles who continues to do what he has done for 40+ years as a GOP media strategist.

Mark in ATL

June 27th, 2012
1:57 pm

CNN is non partisan????????? first I’ve ever heard of that….

Gwen

June 27th, 2012
1:58 pm

I watched 5 minutes of Soilidad O’Brian this morning – she was interviewing and she was so rude to the person she was interviewing. Why id you put her back on the air in any capacity. when she worked on Hurricane Katrina I quit watching CNN completely because she was rude, hateful and was always trying the catch someone at an off moment. The only person I will watch on CNN is Anderson Cooper. He has compassion and is couteous. I love it when he gets tickled. But Solidad need to go somewhere so that she can be rude an hateful without offending anyone. She gives the public the message that CNN is a mean spirited organization.

Dustin

June 27th, 2012
1:58 pm

This has to be the most hilarious thing I’ve read in a while. Are you sure this wasn’t supposed to be posted on The Onion!?!?!?
“…those rivals want nothing to do with CNN’s straight and narrow nonpartisan approach to newsgathering and delivery…”

markie mark

June 27th, 2012
1:59 pm

Chicken Noodle Network

gnomeboy

June 27th, 2012
2:00 pm

Morale taking a hit at CNN. Wow! Imagine that. well this is what happens when you are the “cheerleaders” for the President, the man who can do no wrong!!!!

Biased

June 27th, 2012
2:00 pm

@Get Real re Fox hard right… I think it is tough to put a value to folks who claim “hard” or “extreme.” I agree with you… I think that most folk mistake shows like Hannity as news and extend that to the network. Those shows are just entertainment.

On the other hand, I do not even consider MSNBC as news. They are totally lost. It is like the entire network is on the level of Hannity.

In my unscientific memory, it seems like MSNBC and CNN have accumulated more journalism integrity failures in the past few years than the right-leaning news outlets. And, those failings tended to be political biases toward the left. So, it is tough to argue that CNN is neutral.

MUSTANG100

June 27th, 2012
2:02 pm

Non-partisan????? The last time I saw anything leaning that far left, it capsized to port and SANK! Much like CNN is doing, I suppose.

CW

June 27th, 2012
2:03 pm

I stopped watching CNN because they increasingly have entertainment oriented nonsense stories. Substantive stories and analysis are getting replaced by news-entertainment. A celebrity dies and we get 3-5 days of stories about the life and times of the celebrity. We get trite political stories as reporters try to “catch” or embarrass a poilitician for a statement, but no substantive reporting on legislation. An when a politican asserts something blatently incorrect or illogical I rarely see a reporter challenge the statement. Meanwhile I see no stories re the Mali coup and Tuareg uprising, I see no stories about the fighting in eastern DRC and the effort of the U.S. to cover up its close collaboration with Rwanda, I see no stories about India and its role in destabilizing Nepal, I see no stories about the new US military strategy toward China. I find Al-Jazeera better now. They actually report on news, while CNN increasingly goes for fluff.

FunnyStuff

June 27th, 2012
2:04 pm

“In this highly charged election year, those rivals want nothing to do with CNN’s straight and narrow nonpartisan approach to newsgathering and delivery, and their growing audience shares at CNN’s expense suggest their partisan and personality driven strategies are working.”

Whoever wrote this is an idiot. This is laughable. “Straight – non-partisan”. What planet on you on? CNN is as liberal as MSNBC. Funny stuff.

Judie

June 27th, 2012
2:05 pm

Hah! That was my first thought too! We call CNN the communist news network

dc

June 27th, 2012
2:06 pm

CNN is non-partisan….haha, getting back up off floor from falling down and laughing now. Lets see, the windbag from Louisiana is one of their key guys….sure, he’s not partisan at all.

CNN had the world by it’s tail…and blew it by being so liberal. opened the door for the Fair and Balanced network, when they completely ignored the fact that there is a much larger audience for balanced to conservative approach to the news, than for the liberal one. Of course, their bias just reflected their founder’s.