A rival is preparing a power play that will be the final nail in the coffin for CNN

Feb 21, 2024

CNN used to be the most trusted name in news.

Now CNN’s on the chopping block.

And a rival is preparing a power play that will be the final nail in the coffin for CNN.

New CNN boss Mark Thompson has some tough decisions to make.

The network’s ratings are in the toilet, and there is no sign of a rebound even with the 2024 election kicking into full gear.

“CNN’s linear ratings are in free fall. The network had an average of 538,000 nightly viewers in the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. block from Jan. 15 until Jan. 21, according to data from Nielsen. CNN “This Morning” averaged 326,000 viewers in January, plus 87,000 on an HLN simulcast. That compares to 1.06 million for Fox News’ Fox & Friends and 1.01 million for MSNBC’s Morning Joe,” the Wrap reports.

“Prime time on CNN hasn’t fared much better. CNN is averaging 668,000 viewers in primetime for the past year. “Anderson Cooper 360” is the biggest show with an average of 717,000 viewers year to date. “Erin Burnett Outfront” is slightly behind with 716,000, with Jake Tapper at 682,000. The Source with Kaitlin Collins is averaging 583,000 viewers,” the Wrap report continues.

A road already traveled

Thompson sees the future of CNN in streaming as more and more Americans cut the cord and get rid of cable.

The problem there is that, outside of Netflix, no streaming service is currently turning a profit.

CNN tried the streaming option before, with disgraced ex-network President Jeff Zucker sinking $300 million into the ill-fated CNN+, which attracted about 10,000 subscribers, and Chris Licht shut down after one month after taking over from Zucker.

Thompson plans to give streaming another go.

But this will be a cost-effective venture designed to turn a profit.

And that means the salaries of CNN’s highly paid yet lowly rated left-wing anchors are on the chopping block, as The Wrap reports Thompson is looking at slashing $50 million in anchor salaries.

Highly-paid hosts won’t like this

“Top CNN earners include prime-time anchor Anderson Cooper, who makes an estimated $20 million a year; Wolf Blitzer, who earns about $15 million; Jake Tapper, who pulls in more than $8.5 million; and Chris Wallace, who makes about $8 million, two insiders said. Other co-anchors, including John Berman, Kate Bolduan and Sara Sidner, make in the $1 million to $2 million range,” one network executive told The Wrap.

Leftist competitors ready to capitalize

MSNBC views this as the chance to deliver a kill shot to CNN as both networks compete for the same dwindling pool of liberal viewers.

If MSNBC can sign one or two of CNN’s biggest names, CNN’s audience would collapse.

“If they can put the death nail in CNN by getting a piece of talent they will do it,” one source told The Wrap.

CNN stopped being a news network so it could be an opposition force to Donald Trump.

That turned out to be one of the worst business bets of all time.

24/7 Politics will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.

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