For the first time in six years, CNN will have less than $1 billion in profits, as the company struggles to recover after the cancellation of CNN+ while it gets hit with a double-digit rating decrease.
“Projections from S&P Global Market Intelligence say CNN’s profitability is on a pace to decline to $956.8 million this year, a report published by the New York Times on Tuesday read. “That would mark the first time since 2016 that the network had dipped below $1 billion in profit.”
The network’s new chairman, Chris Licht, took over the helm this past spring — as the newly formed Warner Brothers Discovery began changing course in an effort to pivot into the streaming industry with CNN+
“Now, three months into Mr. Licht’s tenure, the network finds itself facing big questions about how it can continue to expand its business with its moonshot streaming service dead and the traditional TV business in structural decline,” the report added.
CNN’s yearly profit of $958.6 million falls far short of its initial goal of $1.1 billion for 2022. This huge miss — of over $100 million — was caused by a number of fundamental issues which continue to plague the biased outlet.
“Ratings are down from their Trump-era heights across cable news, but declines at CNN are particularly pronounced,” The Times piece emphasized. “The network has drawn an average of 639,000 people in prime time this quarter, according to data from Nielsen, a 27 percent decrease from a year ago. It trails MSNBC, which is down 23 percent in prime time during the same period, and Fox News, where viewership is up about 1 percent.”
As CNN faces abysmal ratings, the company has attempted to cut costs through a number of measures including limiting spending on work celebrations, the travel of journalists, and gradually shutting down the remnants of CNN+. Such as the salaries of Chris Wallace, and other talent whose contracts hurt the financial bottom line.
Licht may also be looking to change the culture overall, as he reportedly stated, “I don’t want producers making decisions based on what they think will rate.”
“If the strategy delivers more reach — that is, more ratings — then it’s probably a better business,” Licht continued. “If it delivers less reach — if it turns out that the middle is a narrow place to be these days in America — then it’s a less good business strategy.”
While CNN attempts to remain profitable in an era where its ratings are in free fall and cable news is on life support, the company’s reliance on its “pristine brand” may be too out of touch to hit home.
Thier efforts, though admirable, are delaying the inevitable. It’s time to say goodbye to Ted Turner’s television museum and look forward to the future — where more than one radical liberal point of view is up for discussion and can be accepted as reasonable debate.
You Can Follow Sterling on Twitter Here