Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes, speaking on the company’s quarterly earnings conference call, was critical of CNN’s recent ratings, reassuring analysts that the company has made CNN a high priority, TVNewser.com reports.
“To be clear, we are not satisfied with CNN’s ratings performance, and we are focused on fixing it,” Bewkes said. He singled out CNN as the exception to Turner Broadcasting’s growth. Citing strong results from TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network, Bewkes added, “The exception this quarter was CNN."
Asked how he will raise CNN’s ratings, Bewkes answered, "We are going to do a better job putting on programming that will hold viewers. We believe there is very strong demand for objective, comprehensive, non-partisan coverage, but we need to do it in a very compelling, more engaging way than we have been doing of late. That is what we are going to focus on next.”
As previously reported, CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton will step down from his role at the end of this year.
Bewkes trumpeted CNN’s domestic cume numbers, which lead cable news, along with its performance internationally and its digital results.
“I think as we all know, it is a great brand,” he said, adding, “I think there is tremendous upside on the news side.”