Accuracy in Media

jane fonda

Jane Fonda doesn’t think much of CNN, or the potential acquisition of CNN parent company Time Warner by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

Fonda, who was married to CNN founder Ted Turner for 10 years, told The Wrap that if Murdoch bought Time Warner it would be a “catastrophe:”

If that happens I’m going to be so angry at the FCC. They cannot let that happen. It’s no secret that Rupert uses his media outlets for political reasons. And he is not neutral. And he, you know, his news outlets do things that are unconscionable. And it just cannot happen that he becomes that much of a dominant force in American media

Murdoch, however, isn’t trying to gain control of CNN—he has already stated that he would sell the network to avoid regulatory concerns—but is instead after Time Warner’s other assets, like cable networks HBO, TBS and TNT, and the Warner Brothers movie studio. Combining those assets with those of 21st Century Fox would give Murdoch some of the heft his company is currently lacking, especially when it comes to sports programming.

As for the floundering CNN, Fonda said that the network is trying to “compete with stations that play to the lowest common denominator.” She added that she still watches the network, but it isn’t “where it used to be.”

That’s for sure. CNN, which was the first all-news television network in the world, has experimented with non-news programs in an attempt to revive its woeful ratings. The network has slipped from its former No. 1 perch to a lowly third place, and sometimes fourth place. Yet despite all the tinkering that the current CNN president Jeff Zucker has tried, it hasn’t moved the needle.

Murdoch is likely to increase his offer to buy Time Warner. If he does succeed, he will be left with trying to find a buyer for CNN, which won’t be easy given its current ratings status.

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