Yesterday, while doing my cardio, I looked up to see a Clinton-supporter guest-hosting on Piers Morgan’s CNN show and interviewing Bill Clinton. Do wonder if CNN would invite a Bush-supporter to interview George W. Bush on any of their shows.
But, well, then again, maybe it doesn’t matter:
Cold-calling celebrities in the early-morning hours. Breathlessly reporting on flesh-eating “zombie” attacks. Hiring TV chef Anthony Bourdain. There are a lot of changes going on over at CNN these days. And there’s a very good reason for all the changes: Last month, ratings for the cable news network sunk to a 20-year-low.
In May, CNN averaged a mere 389,000 viewers in primetime, its lowest total since October 1991 (back when the first George Bush was still in the White House). To be fair, all of the major news networks were down year-to-year from last May, when the death of Osama bin Liden boosted viewership. But CNN’s primetime audience declined a whopping 51 percent, finishing a distant third to Fox News and MSNBC. Most humiliatingly, CNN even fell behind its more tabloidy kid-sister station, Headline News, among key demographics.
Perhaps were the network not running cover for the Obama White House, it might find its rating a little better. Maybe if, in addition to covering the stories promoted by the Obama campaign and broken on left-wing blogs, they picked up some stories pushed by the Romney campaign and broken by right-of-center blogs, they might find themselves providing a unique service.
We have long counted on the Big Three networks to helped promote the Democratic. When CNN offers a product that’s already on the market, it’s not going to have trouble selling it. They should try providing the service better — or offering one which is currently unavailable. (See, e.,g. FoxNews.)
Maybe it’s time CNN started thinking outside the cocoon, er, box. I mean, CNN, as Ed Driscoll reports (and Glenn Reynolds links), let “itself be scooped by Fox regarding something that happened to one of its own contributors.“