CNN is sticking to its guns on journalism.Despite recent cries from some media critics that the network needs to take on more characteristics of their competition and take on a more radical point of view to amp up its ratings, CNN executives appeared before advertisers and agencies this morning to say that balanced journalism will continue to be their brand.
Their message: Good journalism is good business for us.
“”There is more new on more screens all the time. But we believe there is less journalism,” said Greg D’Alba, executive vice president and COO of CNN’s Advertising Sales, said during the network’s upfront presentation, which is meant to lure advertisers into buying spots on the network and its digital properties. “Journalism is our core value—it’s who we are,” he said.
President of CNN Worldwide Jim Walton pumped out more slogans for the network “where journalism matters.”
“Our journalism is the currency of the national conversation,” Walton said.
The network trotted out top news anchors including Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, who appeared on a panel discussing Obama’s poll ratings and the next U.S. Supreme Court judge.
CNN’s sister network, HLN, has another point of view on how to cover the news. The network’s hosts like Joy Behar appeared on a panel discussing the Tiger Woods and John Edwards scandal under a less rigid slogan: “news and views.”
CNN admits that they are suffering from a 40% decline in primetime viewers in 2009.
But according to Time Warner (TWX)-owned network, CNN has more to offer. “For CNN, primetime is all the time,” COO D’Alba said, referring to CNN’s daytime numbers, which usually easily beat MSNBC.
CNN also has assets like CNN International, which is in 200 countries, their business unit CNN News Source, and CNN.com, which is one of the top news sites on the web.
Executives told analyst in their last conference call that, despite an overall ratings decline, CNN grew its profits in double digits and are still getting premium pricing from advertisers. CNN.com is considered one of the top news sites on the Web.
Although rival networks like Fox News and MSNBC were not named during the presentation, they were referenced in executives speeches—as a way to explain what the network doesn’t plan to do.
Jonathan Klein, president for CNN U.S., said the network doesn’t plan on taking on characteristics of competitors who bring in brash hosts and parade a series of guests “who agree with him.”
“Our mission, our mandate, is to deliver the best journalism in the world,” he said, which “puts us in a category of one.”
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