Turner Boss Points the Finger for CNN’s Ratings Slide

Jun 1, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent said he’s "very unhappy" with CNN’s prime-time ratings, and described some of the damage as "self-inflicted," reports Jon Lafayette at B&C.

He also blamed part of the ratings slide on environmental causes, the story adds.

Lafayette notes: "Over the years CNN has benefited from breaking news, and in the first five months of this year there have been few big stories, especially compared to last year’s rush of unrest in the Middle East, tsunamis, reactor meltdowns and earthquakes."

Kent pointed to the presidential election as being "pretty boring to people," adding, "This is not an excuse. It’s just a fact."

For the self-inflicted problems, Kent focused on CNN’s prime-time programming. "[W]e haven’t put the best shows on the air," he said.

Nevertheless, he said he believes the network’s current prime-time lineup has "very high potential." He said he believes in Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and Piers Morgan.

"[W]e have some other shows that probably need to be replaced. This is an execution issue and to me, this is TV 101," Kent said.

Kent called Morgan, who replaced CNN veteran Larry King, “a tremendous interviewer,” but added: "It seems to be that when he is interviewing people that are in the news in a meaningful way, the show works better than a typical celebrity interview. I don’t really know what to make of that yet."


  1. What you can make of it is Piers is a bore! No one would tune in to see him. If there is someone who is really interesting to you, that is different. But Piers has no ability to make someone that you don’t know or care about interesting. And as his ratings decline the people that are interesting are going to other shows.

  2. The real problem is simple. CNN stands for Cable News Network. And when it WAS a pure news network, it did well. Now it’s not, and I can’t bear to watch it.

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