TV executive Chris Licht replaced Zucker and vowed to make the news station more centrist after a shift to more opinion during the Trump presidency. Licht also reduced heavy usage of the word “breaking news,” a strategy Zucker embraced to keep eyeballs on the network.
S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates CNN’s profitability will drop to $956.8 million this year, the first time since 2016 that its profits dipped below $1 billion, according to unnamed sources to The New York Times. The costs of prematurely ending CNN+ contributed to the projected fall in profits.
Relatively speaking, those profits are still huge, but three months into Litch’s tenure as CNN president, the New York Times story notes, “the network finds itself facing big questions about how it can continue to expand its business with its moonshot streaming service dead and the traditional TV business in structural decline.”
The Times story notes CNN’s prime-time ratings are down 27% year over year while MSNBC’s numbers have fallen 23%. Fox News is up 1%. CNN is a distant third both in day-time and prime-time hours among the big three cable news networks.
While CNN is now headquartered in New York, it still has an ample employee base in Atlanta. CNN’s international and digital operations are located at CNN Center. Warner Bros. Discovery doesn’t break down revenues publicly so it’s unclear how much money those particular operations generate compared to the primary cable network, which brings in money from cable subscribers and advertisers.