• April 20, 2024

CNN’s Biggest Stars Are in for a Rude Awakening as New CEO Digs In: Report

 CNN’s Biggest Stars Are in for a Rude Awakening as New CEO Digs In: Report

Turning around a failing business that is bleeding money is never an easy task. You have to place a tourniquet on it as quickly as possible. Only then can you tackle the rest.

The task is grueling. CNN’s new CEO Mark Thompson is familiar. Charged with revamping the failing network back to profitability, he is leaning toward a digital-first strategy, with linear broadcasting relegated to the back seat.

Insiders told The Wrap Thompson plans to find the funding to embark on this aggressive transformation in a place CNN talent most certainly won’t be happy about. Huge salaries are expected to be shed, and in some cases, the actual people along with them.

Thompson can no longer justify the weight of this expense. Paying prime-time anchor Anderson Cooper $20 million when viewership of his show can’t even crack a million hardly makes sense.  “Anderson Cooper 360” is the most successful show CNN broadcasts, yet it only averages 717,000 viewers. Combine Cooper’s salary with Wolf Blitzer’s reported salary of $15 million, Jake Tapper’s $8.5 million, and Chris Wallace’s cool $8 million per year — that’s a ton of cash to shell out when they average just 668,000 viewers in prime time, according to The Wrap.

The network has been in a nose dive for some time now, while Fox News and MSNBC continue to eat up market share and ratings. The morning show “Fox & Friends” is trouncing “Anderson Cooper 360” by approximately 300,000 viewers, on average. The History Channel is also beating the network. If that isn’t embarrassing enough, the INSP cable network, founded by televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, sits ahead of CNN as well, The Wrap reported. When the Bakkers are leading Tapper, you know you’ve got problems.

It seems likely that Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper will soon be getting some very bad news. Maybe not as severe as Don Lemon, who was suddenly ousted from the network in April 2023 alongside his $7-million-a-year salary due to a very public clash that he had with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins on “CNN This Morning.” That tiff became infamous across competitive networks.

Thompson, who previously led both the BBC as its director-general and The New York Times as its CEO, will draw on his experiences streamlining both those operations back to profitability.

In addition to slashing the talent budget, he also plans to move production of the network’s morning shows back

Source: The Gateway Pundit

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