“Gut Punch.” “CNN begins layoffs hitting at “heart and soul” of this organization.” “CNN cuts jobs as cost-cutting pressure mounts.” “Is CNN in crisis?” These are some of the headlines of reports on CNN — A network in mortal danger of being no more.
This is not the way things should have gone. Yes, CNN made lots of mistakes. Can we even begin to count all of them? But most hoped they could dig their way out of the hole they found themselves in. The bottom line is we need quality news networks. Alas, I fear CNN is not one of them.
They could have been. When Chris Licht took over, there were a number of ways he could have taken things. But he seems to have chosen — nothing. That is the problem. CNN has not “changed” for the better. The network has become irrelevant.
Being irrelevant in the media world is perhaps the worst fate imaginable. The ratings have been dipping lower and lower. Astonishingly recently, the audience of CNN dipped below 500,000. It’s reached catastrophic proportions. Why, then does the network not try to change things?
The prime time slot left open by the firing of Chris Cuomo is still wide open. CNN has yet to find a permanent replacement. And it should not be that difficult. There are millions of journalists in the world. Surely CNN could take a chance on someone.
Don Lemon was removed from primetime in what I feel was one of the most absurd moves of the day and put in a morning slot. CNN did come up with a new morning show which very few are watching. And of course, there is the cancellation of live HLN news.
All this together spells doom for the network. Have they given up? And if so, why? I do not know the answers to many of these questions. What I do know is it’s painful to watch the network in its seemingly last gasp. I had hopes that CNN could mitigate the damage all the scandals and firings had done to the network. At this point, though, it really does feel like things are getting worse, not better.