Accuracy in Media

crossfire wolf blitzer

CNN, which has devoted most of its recent airtime to coverage of the disappearance of Malaysian Air flight MH370, is keeping its low-rated Crossfire program on temporary hiatus, according to the Erik Wemple Blog.

Crossfire, whose time slot was carved out of Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room program last fall, has given back that time slot for the foreseeable future so that Blitzer can blather about flight MH370 and a few other issues.

When the Wemple Blog asked CNN what happened to Crossfire, it received the following response:

It’s been on temporary hiatus while we’ve been in continuing coverage for developments in Ukraine and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. We’re taking the decision day-by-day.

That basically means that as long as the MH370 story continues to attract viewers, despite the lack of any credible new news, the low-rated Crossfire will remain in limbo.

Thanks to their incessant coverage of flight MH370, CNN’s ratings have jumped 42% in total viewers in the daytime, and 53% in the demo. In primetime, CNN’s audience jumped 37% in total audience and a whopping 65% in the advertiser coveted demo, giving the network a second-place finish ahead of MSNBC, which kept its primary focus for the month on the Chris Christie Bridgegate scandal.

The ratings surge is a welcome relief for CNN, but it could be the death knell for the struggling Crossfire, when and if it returns, as it will have lost any momentum it had achieved since its launch last fall.

For Jeff Zucker, the best option may be to just let Crossfire die a quiet death, since few people besides Wemple have even noticed it was missing.

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