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CNN in Crisis as Profits Drop to Lowest Level in Years Amid Ratings Crash

CNN shed nearly 27% of its viewers this quarter compared to last year and could see its annual profits dip below $1 billion for the first time since 2016, according to a new report.

The bleak outlook for CNN’s business affairs comes three months after Chris Licht took the reins as CEO. Projections indicate the network’s profits are on pace to tumble to $956.8 million this year, the New York Times reported.

“I don’t want producers making decisions based on what they think will rate,” Licht told CNN employees during his first week.

Initially, CNN was reportedly targeting $1.1 billion in profits for 2022 but had been projected to run about $100 million short of that target. Financial losses as a result of CNN+’s collapse, which shuttered after about a month from its start date, exacerbated the company’s woes even further.

Since his accession to CEO, Licht has reportedly been keen on steering the cable network from what he perceives as sensational reporting. He has told staffers to refrain from deploying the “Breaking News” chyron excessively and wants the network to focus on “truth” instead of alarmism, Fox News reported.

Licht’s style marked a significant departure from predecessor Jeff Zucker, who resigned from the network earlier this year under pressure when details emerged of an undisclosed relationship he had with a colleague. Zucker’s departure came amid a pending shake-up as CNN’s former parent company, WarnerMedia, merged with Discovery.

Licht’s appointment as CEO was announced in February, and he formally took over in May. The network drew an average of roughly 639,000 prime-time viewers during this quarter — a 27% nosedive from a year ago, per the New York Times. This puts CNN behind MSNBC, which is down 23% during the same time frame, and Fox News, which is up about 1%.

To remedy this dilemma, executives have reportedly been scrambling for ways to hunt for more money. Licht has reached out to Chris Marlin, who does not have experience managing a cable news company, to brainstorm ideas for revenue resurgence. He has reportedly pitched or mulled ideas such as advertising deals with major tech firms, selling sponsorships, and expanding operations in China.

CNN brass has also reportedly tamped down on expenses, with caps on travel and internal festivities to cut costs.

As a cable network, the majority of CNN’s revenue comes from subscription deals with cable companies, but it has also historically relied on advertisement revenue, which is affected by ratings.

The past year has been tumultuous for CNN amid several public scandals that have dogged the network. Most notable was the firing of prime-time host Chris Cuomo upon revelations of how he assisted his brother, the former governor of New York, with his response to a sexual misconduct scandal. Cuomo’s departure has left the network without a permanent replacement for its 9 p.m. prime-time slot for months. Cuomo recently began a podcast and is joining NewsNation.

READ 9 COMMENTS
  • Phil Barberg says:

    When CNN started it was only a news network and I watched it often. But then CNN started with political commentary slanted to the Democratic agenda instead of giving unbiased opinions. If CNN started over with just the current news local and international events of interest viewers would return. STOP telling people what to think. Just report the facts of stories. The downfall started with the tsunami disaster in Japan. Couldn’t understand why the story had to be presented by their overpaid rich mouthpiece instead of the real reporters on scene. The mouthpiece only stole real reporters stories pretending to know it all. CNN needs to go back to the News Desk format presenting stories from real reporters on the scene. Don’t care about overpaid news desk mouth pieces. Just want to watch real reporters present the factual news. There are plenty of news worthy events and crisis around the world to report. No need for side shows with biased opinions. CNN can be reborn if it dumped the “fat” and went to strictly a News Desk format. If the cable networks drop CNN it will be over. Not much time left…

    • Cheryl says:

      Clown News Network has been a bunch of liars for a very long time. Going back to the Iraq War. Green screens and yellow journalism is all they’ve been good for.

  • John says:

    The only morons I see watching this low information, low IQ , fake communist News Network is, middle age lazy black & white trash woke dope liberals, AARP libtard FOSSIL fu*k* . & Democrat pedophile loving, Criminal cartel coddling, illegal & illegally voting alien ass kissing white trash & commie sympathizers, & all other degenerate freaks of the democrat pedophile voters party in their utopian fantasy of what they think they’re going to make America turn into.

  • James Daniel says:

    “I don’t want producersaking decisions based on what will rate.”
    It would seem that ignoring ratings is what’s brought you to this low point financially. Ratings sell ad time and determine what you can charge for ad time. Reference the Superbowl which, due to its extremely high ratings (meaning lots of people are watching it) can dictate huge sums of money in exchange for ad time during the game. Making money leads to profitability which means you stay in the black, in business, out of bankruptcy court and employed.

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