CNN Considering Leadership Change In Wake Of Ratings Woes
Time Warner brass is succession planning at CNN, but no one’s walking the plank just yet.
Senior management is putting together a short list of potential candidates to run CNN Worldwide to end the ratings death spiral at the flagship news channel, several sources confirm.
The once-mighty network, created in 1980 by Ted Turner, has been recording some of its lowest ratings in 20 years. Last month, CNN ranked 44th in prime time in the advertiser-coveted, 25-to-54-year-old demographic.
That lowly rank places CNN below even Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network and the Bio Channel — attracting just 114,000 viewers in the demographic. A lackluster primary season hasn’t helped the network rustle up its usual presidential election spike.
Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes (above) and Andersen Cooper can’t help fractured ratings.
CNN has pulled in an average of just 633,000 primetime viewers in the year ending June 30 — about 20 percent fewer eyeballs than two presidential election cycles ago.
Such a rating meltdown demands action and TW higher- ups are brainstorming for ideas for new management candidates with an eye on potentially replacing Jim Walton, who runs CNN Worldwide, several sources said.
The 53-year old executive’s contract is said to end on Dec. 31. Nothing will happen before the Nov. 6 elections The Post has learned.
When asked if there’s a search on, one TW insider told The Post, “We’re always thinking about succession. Are there any changes right now? No.”
Officials declined comment.
The poor ratings come as Madison Avenue allocates its annual ad dollars.