CNN Falls To Fourth Place Among Cable News Networks
CNN in primetime is tanking. The latest numbers show it behind Fox News, MSNBC and even CNN Headline News.
CNN says it's because they provide less commentary and more news, and viewers want commentary.
I disagree. CNN has as many pundits as the other networks. And, I think its pundits are the network's chief problem. They are boring, their comments are completely predictable and rarely informative. As soon I see any one of them, almost all holdovers from the 90's, way past their broadcasting prime, I change the channel. CNN is losing the ratings game because it has become your father's Oldsmobile of news.[More...]
Daytime isn't much better. Try listening to CNN on Sirius in your car. It's a few sentences of news, and then they go to their predictable stable of pundits and "experts." It's very frustrating when you want to get the news and you get their commentators.
This isn't to say the other networks are any better, but they don't seem to have as many paid contributors, so you don't see and hear the same guests night after night. Where did CNN go so wrong? During the primaries, with their "best team on television" nonsense. That locked them in to the same stable of four or five pundits, none of whom were worth watching night after night.
When the election was over, CNN still failed to see the need for new blood. Now they are in last place. It has nothing to do with ideology -- their pundits are just as biased as the other networks. Pairing them against each other doesn't make the broadcast objective. It just makes it dull and predictable.
Fault also lies with the producers who book the guests. Calling someone who wrote a book with a partisan point of view an "expert" doesn't make them one. Putting on dueling Congresspersons whose only goal is to further their partisan agenda rather than provide facts, is not "news." There are plenty of knowledgeable experts out there, some of whom will be both telegenic and articulate. It's the producer's job to find them.
CNN would do better to focus on news and get out of the pundit business, rather than pretending it isn't as invested in commentary as the other networks. It would be great to have a reliable news network that really did focus on presenting the facts and expert opinion about them.
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