Zucker told Mike Allen and Alex Weprin of Capital New York that he wants news coverage with more of an attitude and “The goal for the next six months, is that we need more shows and less newscasts.”
That means far less of what built CNN and even gave it its name: the Cable News Network. CNN became famous for its 24-hour presentation of news. But in an era where it seems news aggregators are everywhere online and in mobile devices, CNN’s not figured out how to make that format work for television. Indeed, this blogger seriously doubts CNN even thought its vision should be that.
And when Zucker says he wants more of an “attitude,” what kind? CNN’s already overdosing on coverage that seems to be designed to try and kill President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, or what’s called “Obamacare,” and that’s not working – ratings are still poor. CNN’s GOP-oriented agenda of editorial is mind-numbing. When Zucker asks for more “attitude,” he should actually sit down and watch the current one his network’s producing.
It’s not what made CNN; news reporting made CNN.
Jeff Zucker is giving up what made CNN rather than trying to figure out how to replicate social media on television. He’s drunk on the success of one show: Anthony Bordain: Parts Unknown, and is trying to see if he can find lightening in a bottle twice.
The bet here is he can’t do that. And the reason is the magic he seeks is right under his nose: it’s CNN as it’s currently structured, but tweaked to represent an online experience. I’m not going to lay a business plan out for him here, but it does exist – Zucker just fails to see it.
The key to the CNN of the future rests in CNN iReport.
Let’s hope Zucker doesn’t kill that too.