Their competition, from Fox News to MSNBC, is way ahead in the ratings game.
CNN must scramble to catch up before it’s too late.
Michael Calderone at Politico interviewed “a dozen or so prominent media watchers” for some solutions.
Here are their ideas and some of our own added commentary:
- Bring back Crossfire. Bring back smart guests who will butt heads on-air. Also, book Sarah Palin.
- Dump the neutral point of view. People can get the “straight-down-the-middle” news stories anywhere — online and on other TV stations. Give viewers an opinion, or some “advocacy” journalism.
- Get some fiery personalities. There’s a reason why Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly do so well on Fox News. Maybe CNN needs to hire Jon Stewart.
- Overhaul the production design. CNBC did it recently and it looks great. Spruce up the design, the sets, the hosts.
- Entertain us. Ban boring broadcasts. There were whisperings that CNN was working on a kind of Fox News-inspired morning show. Good idea.
- Switch up the line-up. CNN will have tough competition during primetime so they need to schedule carefully. They also need to put the right personalities into the right hours. Jay Rosen, an NYU professor and media critic, also offered a detailed line-up of shows that he think will get CNN on the right track. Read more suggestions at Politico >
There are a few factors out of CNN’s control here: One is that President Obama is in office. If they take an Obama-friendly stance, their ratings may continue to flatline. As we’ve seen in the liberal magazine world, hate sells. Readers (or viewers) tune in to hear what the critics have to say, good or bad.
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