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With Google Alerts, Huffington Post and News Aggregators, Who Needs CNN? Answer: Advertisers Ad Age

With personalized Google alerts, online news aggregators and opinionated news sources, Brian Steinberg asks in Advertising Age just who today still needs CNN. His answer: Advertisers.

The reason advertisers still love the cable-news network is because local news programs are losing viewers and TV hosts such as Glenn Beck can be too controversial, he writes.

"CNN is safe ground. It's a trusted, if plain-vanilla, news source," according to the piece. "Many cable-news outlets run ads in an arrangement known as "run of schedule" in which a marketer agrees to have ads run during a specific range of hours but often doesn't know which program or what host the commercials will be supporting." Fox News has moved some advertisers concerned about Beck's program to other spots on the network, so it hasn't lost ad sales.

This may explain why CNN isn't selling its new prime-time lineup as a big change from its usual approach, despite a new show that debuts today with disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Steinberg points out. Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide, says that linking programs to a particular point-of-view would be damaging for CNN's operations, the story points out.