You can’t ‘Perestroika’ CNN

Who remembers Perestroika?  It was a “Hail Mary pass” from Mikhail Gorbachev to save the USSR. Perestroika means “restructuring” in Russian, but it did not save the communist economy. Well, not long ago, CNN hired a fellow named Chris Licht to save the ratings-challenged network.  He fired Don Lemon and tried to change the image of the network.  This week, we learned that Mr. Licht is out. 

This is the story

Mr. Licht’s 13-month run at CNN was marked by one controversy after another, culminating in his exit earlier this week. He got off to a bumpy start even before he had officially started when he oversaw the shuttering of the costly CNN+ streaming service at the request of its network’s new owners, who were skeptical about a stand-alone digital product. The cuts resulted in scores of layoffs.

David Zaslav, the chief executive of CNN’s parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, informed staff on Wednesday morning that he had met with Mr. Licht and that he was leaving, effective immediately.

As Gorbachev learned, you can’t fix communism.  It does not work.  In a short time, the next leader of CNN will learn the same thing, that you can’t fix a news channel that can’t stop talking about former President Trump. 

The network’s basic problem is that no one is watching, a rather difficult challenge for the account executives selling airtime:  “494,000 average total viewers in prime time in May — and just 113,000 viewers in the key 25-54-year-old demographic, according to Nielsen.”  To be fair, cable news ratings are down, but nobody does it “worse” than CNN.   

What happened to the old USSR?  It collapsed.  What will happen to CNN?  It needs a major shakeup and lots of new faces to make people forget about Jake Tapper and the rest.  

So start with a name change.  We call it Russia today, not the USSR anymore. Look in the camera and apologize to viewers for the Trump/Russia hoax and the network’s unwillingness to challenge that letter made public just in time to help VP Biden in the second debate.

It’s likely too late and CNN will get fewer viewers the next time they count the numbers.  It’s over for CNN and we are all waiting for the funeral details. I hear that Ted Turner is unhappy with what they’ve done to the network he started in 1980.

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1 thought on “You can’t ‘Perestroika’ CNN”

  1. CNN is not and does not care about actual news. It’s a propaganda outlet, and a rabid one.

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