CNN founder Ted Turner discussed his vision of the network with CNN’s Piers Morgan on Thursday and said that he wanted the network to emphasize substantial news and be more like The New York Times than the Daily News.
“And I thought that for the long-term, that would be the best position to be in, even if the ratings weren’t the greatest…If you had the most prestige and you were the network that everybody turned to in times of a crisis, that was the most important position in the news business to hold.”
That may be part of CNN’s problem, as Morgan asked Turner whether or not CNN should remain the impartial observer of news. While I would disagree with Morgan’s assertion that CNN is impartial, there is no doubt that they lack a clear identity like Fox News and MSNBC, which has contributed to CNN’s ratings ills.
CNN, which was at one time the undisputed cable news ratings champ, has fallen to third place behind MSNBC and in April had its worst ratings in more than 10 years.
Being more like the Times and having a viewpoint, even if it’s a liberal one, would still be better ratings-wise for CNN than plodding down the middle of the road, which hasn’t worked out very well for them. On the other hand, even despite CNN’s ratings woes, it is still very profitable, which is more than I can say for the Times.