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With poor ratings and its chief quitting, what’s next for CNN?

CNN chief Jim Walton steps down at the end of the year after a decade at the helm. CREDIT: AP

CNN chief Jim Walton steps down at the end of the year after a decade at the helm. CREDIT: AP

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.

AJC business writer Kristi E. Swartz is following the story.

What’s your reaction to this latest setback for the Atlanta-based network? How can this network be saved?

(Keep it above the gutter, folks, and on-topic.)

Note: Commenting has been disabled on this post.

– For the AJC’s Radio & TV Talk blog

87 comments Add your comment

Mike

July 27th, 2012
12:30 pm

Gee, I wonder… maybe start by removing opinion writers that give “advice” to universities that cover up pedophilia? http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/23/opinion/mccann-ncaa-penn-state-sanctions/index.html

Chris

July 27th, 2012
12:36 pm

The reason CNN is losing the ratings game is its “Ultra Liberal” position on everything. While the vast majority of US media is liberal, CNN and its affiliated channels, radio stations, and sister pulicatons in the Time family, are the “Ultra Liberals” of US media.

At one time, I was a loyal CNN viewer. As a Moderate, I was willing to look at both sides of a position and make an informed choice. Now, I seldom watch CNN because everything is too one-sided.

A prime example is the recent killings in Colorado. CNN used it to push its anti-gun position. In fact, rather than researching the difference between the weapons used by the killer nd actual military weapons, it called the rifle used an “assault weapon.” The fact is that it is much less powerful than many legal huntng rifle in the US. The difference is the design of the “assault weapon” making it LOOK like a military weapon.

If the media is going to reort a story, it should do so without “slanting” the report to its way of thinking. Be neither liberal nor consertative. Be neutral! That’s how all news should be handled but none of the media does it this way.

Eyes Rolling

July 27th, 2012
1:00 pm

Better question: Would anybody even notice if CNN was gone? Outside of when you’re stuck in the airport, I mean.

David

July 27th, 2012
1:04 pm

am sooooooooo tired of Wolf yelling at me during his Situation Room. I find him boring, uninformed and the gaffe with the Supreme Court Affordable Healthcare Act was unforgivable. He was so eager to get it out first, he failed to confirm ………. really tacky. Take his fuzzy face and send him onto a new assignment.

Who'da Thunk it

July 27th, 2012
1:06 pm

Headline news has turned into a tabloid show, it used to be a good way to catch the news in 30 mins, but now it is all entertainment crap, no news at all. Nancy Dis-Grace is pitiful, she still has not apologized to the Duke Lacross team for her false accusations. But that’s just one instance of her douchbaggery. Bye bye CNN, won’t miss you at all.

The Ruthless Way

July 27th, 2012
1:06 pm

CNN needs to quit dating NBC. Both companies are WAY too left. Maybe if they shared balanced opinions/views the majority would watch it. I think these networks tend to forget that most people in this country arent left or right radicals. MOST are somewhere in the middle on balance. Once they get their head out of their arses then mabe they can tun it around. But hey I dont really care. Fox news is the best right now. For a very right winged oriented company the at least show both sides of the issue and for the most part are fair and balanced. CNN should take notes.

Dave Waldrop

July 27th, 2012
1:07 pm

The fact that CNN has been replaced by MSNBC in second place should tell you all you need to know.
Without even trying to be fair and balanced in their reporting of stories and issues, CNN is paying the price.
People like Blitzer are so biased in their support of every liberal, big government ,

Tomahawkin

July 27th, 2012
1:08 pm

@Who’da Thunk it

Very Well Put, At Times its Like watching that Trash Entertainment Tonight 24-7

gimmeabreak

July 27th, 2012
1:08 pm

Ultra liberal, too much emphasis on US CNN on small stories taking place in other countries. Too many human interest stories. Frankly, there is not enough news to need all these 24 hour news stations. Maybe Obama can do something really beneficial and pass a law the TV stations can only spend 4 hours a day on news.

Samuel Adams

July 27th, 2012
1:10 pm

With Phil Kent(conservative) running the show for TBS behind the scenes, CNN should try to target the moderate to conservative people in America since we comprise 55-75% of the population. Liberals alone barely make up 22% of the population. Also they could go after FOX News since they’re the only game in town that targets the moderate-conservative audience. I guarantee it WOULD work.

blahblahblah

July 27th, 2012
1:10 pm

Anyone who thinks Fox News is actually balanced must suffer from a chemical imbalance.

Bob

July 27th, 2012
1:12 pm

Now that Anderson Cooper has come out of the closet, the public is getting insight into why the personal agenda of these so-called news people is so obvious. Most intelligent, fair minded folks
left CNN and its sponsors long ago.

Phil Baker

July 27th, 2012
1:13 pm

CNN has moved as far left as MSNBC. FOX is too far right. We need a station who just reports and leaves the commentary out.

Sluggo

July 27th, 2012
1:15 pm

“Headline news has turned into a tabloid show”

Exactly! Just give me the current news pronto. I don’t want cutsie stories or Entertainment Tonight.

take off the blinders

July 27th, 2012
1:16 pm

They need to get rid of Soledad and people like her that are just so liberal they can’t be unbiased in their newscasts. She is unable to report anything without an extreme left wing bias and comes across as a bigoted bully. Same can be said for just about their entire line up. I just want the news – without the slant. Yes, Fox IS slanted too. How about some unbiased (at least mostly) presentation of the facts? That would get me back.

Concerned

July 27th, 2012
1:18 pm

I used to be so proud of Turner/CNN, I remember when they started… I used to own a small construction co and even quit bidding on there work for GC’s out of disgust of the feeling I got even going into CNN Center. They are so ultra liberal in there views. Remember that FOX News billboard across the street from CNN. They should of paid more attention to that sign of the times. Maybe they can bring in Kieth O. to save them :)

MyPatootie

July 27th, 2012
1:18 pm

“Anyone who thinks Fox News is actually balanced must suffer from a chemical imbalance.”
That’s strange, I was just thinking the same thing about anyone who gets turned on by the likes of Erin Burnett and Kate Bolduan. Seriously, I was!

Quagmire

July 27th, 2012
1:18 pm

This country is doomed-populated mostly by morons, some of whom are submitting absurd, illogical, and baseless posts here.

Bostontransplant

July 27th, 2012
1:21 pm

The only two decent comments so far are the overhauling of HLN from tabloid station to real news and reducing the number of small human interest pieces, especially international ones.

Personally, FOX and MSNBC are both the staple ideological stations. FOX is a total joke when it claims to be fair and balanced, the spin on everything any pundit says makes me want to gag. MSNBC is just as bad. Both I listen to both of them daily. CNN should attempt to model the BBC and NPR, providing a range of real facts and news from around the US and internationally. Americans want to hear there is civil war in Syria, but we don’t care to see 50 interest pieces about women suffering every time we tune in. Give us the facts about Syria, solid investigative journalism; facts about the Euro decline and economy, the attempted coup in Madagascar, positive stories of nonprofits and companies doing good in their communities. Highlight positive human interest pieces and give straight, fact-driven news about everything else. Keep Piers and Anderson Cooper and Jon King, but edit their stories a bit. Everyone else should go

gimmeabreak

July 27th, 2012
1:23 pm

@bostontransplant – excellent start!

MyPatootie

July 27th, 2012
1:23 pm

Yours included,”Q”. Several of the posts on here already nailed it. I was thinking how biased and slanted to the left even CNN’s regular news anchors are. Even made a big deal of it when Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper “came out”(from where I don’t know) as if that mattered at all as far as news goes. CNN has a huge problem. It used to be a good place if you wanted just straight news and the facts, but not anymore. I hear that if you stand on the street outside CNN’s building, it actually leans to the left.

Monon

July 27th, 2012
1:24 pm

Get some respectable anchors. Since Linda Stouffer left there has been a ton of pretty talking heads to replace her, but most of them are empty. I want accurate and timely news delivery, not gossip from my BFF.

onlinesavant

July 27th, 2012
1:27 pm

Not being “ultraliberal” (Since the truth does have a well known “liberal” bias.) is where things went wrong for CNN. Trying to be “fauxnews” lite hasn’t worked in the least, and is reflective of the bias of the management in NY ultimately. Get rid of right wing parrot heads like erikson, burnett, will cain ,and that god awful alex castellanos and david gergen, and then CNN may begin to regain some it’s past success. Funny thing is, CNN international, and all it’s other properties are doing just fine, and are actually the reason that the entire enterprise is not in peril. Hire Maddow, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and Cenk Uyger, give them their own show
and latitude, and I promise that CNN will pass fauxnews in the ratings summarily.

Jimbo

July 27th, 2012
1:33 pm

Bostontransplant’s comment is dead on. Comments claiming that CNN is “ultra liberal” are a joke.

Old Boy

July 27th, 2012
1:33 pm

FOX panders to the Ultra Conservatives, getting the highest ratings, while MSNBC panders to the Ultra Liberals, getting the next highest ratings. CNN is stuck in the middle and gets the lowest because everyone wants to read a slant that favors his or her own bias. Look at the fact that half on here are saying it is too Liberal while the other half are saying it is too Conservative. Much like officiating, if both sides are mad at you, you are probably being fair.

shon

July 27th, 2012
1:34 pm

Get rid of the 24 hour news (cut it at least in half) and focus on creating high quality shows as well as filtering out at least 60 percent of the entertainment and filler news they have (stopping the 24-7 news cycle will solve that mostly). That’s the solution. The rest of the time that news shows aren’t on the air they can simply show weather related information or show infomercials. They just need to consolidate and make high quality shows. TV is trying to mirror and compete with the internet which is full of repetitive junk.

Bill Cranford

July 27th, 2012
1:38 pm

Quit being so obviously liberal. Quit trying to get Obama re-elected with every dispatch about him and get rid of his puppet Wulf Blitzer. Just report the news and let us decide. “It’s the integrity Stupid”

Rev Al

July 27th, 2012
1:45 pm

@Old boy …..” Much like officiating, if both sides are mad at you, you are probably being fair”….or you stink as an official because you’re getting too many calls WRONG…..btw….CNN ain’t in the middle….

bill scott

July 27th, 2012
1:45 pm

Go back to just doing the news. Bring Ted back.

Fred

July 27th, 2012
1:48 pm

Replace Piers Morgan with Rush Limbaugh and you’ll see their ratings skyrocket.

Bob from buford

July 27th, 2012
1:49 pm

I would just like to had my 2 cents and agree with my fellow supersmart Georgians:

Left, left, liberal, left, nobama, left, ultra liberal, left, obamacare, and finally left left liberal.

Thank you

God bless America and no one else

Ted

July 27th, 2012
1:49 pm

If CNN goes, good riddance. MSNBC is as far left are farther left than CNN. They are not even close to FOX in the ratings either. Fox is conservative but at least they will present opposing views, something the ultra liberal networks won’t.

Old timer

July 27th, 2012
1:50 pm

Maybe save it by becoming a news organization and removing the editorial element.

Bill Brown

July 27th, 2012
1:52 pm

So the Communist News Network (or CNN as it’s otherwise known) is having trouble getting viewers.
Go figure!
Three main issues:
1) Too Liberal
2) Too slanted and opinionated in its views
3) Too much fluff on HNN and Too little actual news

Sure, those leaning liberal want to trash Fox news about what “balance” is, but look where the viewers are going…

It’s a shame CNN is such a mess – they were so good at one time.

Darren

July 27th, 2012
1:57 pm

CNN’s International feeds are actually quite good, and more towards the type of journalism that the network had in the beginning. I always enjoy watching CNNI when I’m overseas. These days CNN Domestic is boring and HLN is tabloid crap just one step above TMZ. Both have been on the downturn since Ted’s departure. CNN may have some liberal viewpoints, but keep in mind the difference between their opinion shows and the actual news broadcasts. I don’t think CNN is anywhere near as liberal as Fox is conservative. Don’t forget that HLN employed Glenn Beck before he worked for Fox, you can hardly accuse a network of liberal bias with Beck in the building….

MM

July 27th, 2012
2:01 pm

CNN is not left wing as Fox is on the right. CNN’s problem is that it’s clearly not run by real newspeople. There’s a lot of faux news going around all the netowrks today but CNN takes the cake for superficialities, “feel good” non-stories, and Kens and Barbies run wild. Quite simply, it’s entertainment pablum for idiots.

Bryan Stone

July 27th, 2012
2:01 pm

I like CNN news. Faux News sucks

Pirate

July 27th, 2012
2:03 pm

We are a lazy, lazy nation. We don’t want to actually think, or dissect an issue to see where we stand. It’s easier to say “I’m conservative” or “I’m liberal”, go to FOX/MSNBC and let them tell you what to think. I believe, for the most part, CNN tries to play it down the middle. Unfortunately for them, the average American finds the middle boring and wants to see lot’s of yellin’ and screamin’. I guess I’ll stick with CNN for as long as it’s on.

Jay

July 27th, 2012
2:11 pm

Have you ever notice when FOX and MSNBC are reporting breaking news or any news of substance, CNN is interviewing celebrities!! Leave the Celebities interviews to TMZ. They need to fire Piers Morgan, Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper. They also need better graphics and a new set.

Howard

July 27th, 2012
2:13 pm

No they can not be saved becuase they will not do what is neccessary to survive. They are like msnbc where they want to continue to be the Obama torch and ignore stories that put him and the dems in bad light. In other words, they report what they want the viewer to hear. This past week they have done everything possible to get gun control to be the center of the Colorado shooting. Not reporting but, cramming their opinion and agenda down your throat. They will continue to get their buttocks kicked by FNC and eventually msnbc. They could care less about being saved, they think the viewers are the idiots.

lula mae

July 27th, 2012
2:15 pm

The kiss of death for CNN was when AOL/Time Wanrer pushed out Ted Turner. He may be a whack job and a liberal, but he felt it had no place in the news. He knew how to run that network, whether you like him or not.

Howard

July 27th, 2012
2:16 pm

Pirate, you do not speak for everyone. I watch FNC because I get both sides even on shows like Hannity. I want debate when I watch shows from 8-11 and I want news reporting when it is the news hour. CNN and msnbc report what they want us to see and how they want us to see it. Fox News has more liberal viewers then either one and will continue to grow.

Shaun

July 27th, 2012
2:18 pm

For me they totally jumped the shark once they felt the need to report, as news, pretty extensively on the sexual activities of two of its anchors. I do not regard the sexual predelictions of either Don Lemon or Anderson Cooper to be “news,” and have no interest whatsoever in what either man does in the bedroom. Obviously, CNN saw it differently, and reported it as such.

Steve From Dalton

July 27th, 2012
2:18 pm

I don’t know where they are going to find their niche. Fox is for the right and MSNBC is for the left. The middle would be a hard trick to pull off.

The culture at CNN is too far to the left and they need to clean house.

Taylor

July 27th, 2012
2:20 pm

I used to be so proud of CNN….they were my favorite. But now as a moderate I watch Fox News…at least they give both sides of the story. Yes Fox leans to the right but at least I can hear both sides of the story. When CNN left Atlanta and the big wigs in NY started running things that is when the foundation started to crumble. I, like the majority that has posted before me has stated, I just wish I could just hear the news. Leave the politics to the politicians and just give me the news.

Darren

July 27th, 2012
2:23 pm

The problem is that a lot of people are way less interested in learning about what is going on in the world than they are being entertained, being inflamed by a pundit by being told what to be afraid of and who to blame for it, and having someone they agree with completely just tell them things that they agree with. Hannity isn’t a journalist….he’s a commentator, but a lot of people can’t tell the difference between networks’ op/ed shows and their actual journalism/reporting. Again, I’d rather just watch CNN’s international feed. News in this country is straight out of the movie Idiocracy.

madrussian

July 27th, 2012
2:25 pm

Does that mean we should rail against Fox News and their ultra-conservative agendas as well? Those of you stating that it is moderate in it’s views are part of the plebes that have been brainwashed to believe the press is about the news, It’s about ratings. I do agree that CNN is way too liberal but both of these “news” agencies are guilty of the ongoing problem in the press. Rather than report the facts in a balanced manner they feign the act with extreme views.

Jay

July 27th, 2012
2:31 pm

I haven’t watched since Lou Dobbs left. He was the only one on the network who wasn’t an extreme liberal. When he left, so did I.

Howard

July 27th, 2012
2:34 pm

madrussian, no question where Hannity and some of their other hosts stand on subjects, to the right. The thing with FNC is when I turn on their news show at 6 & 7 I get the news and stories that would not be presented on either cnn or msnbc. It took both days to air the Obama “you did not build your business” comment but only hours to report Romney’s comments about the London Olympics. Which was more important to our country? Please.

Howard

July 27th, 2012
2:34 pm

Jay, Lou is on FNC alive and well.