It’s never a nice thing to take amusement in someone else’s troubles.
Yet just in the straight-up professional world of competition in the media, the recent news about the CNN firing of its president Jon Klein is worth a note. The story, out there the last few days, is in the Wall Street Journal today.
The other week the ratings for the cable news and commentary shows were posted here, with a hat tip to Drudge.
They had these listings for the so-called “prime time” hours from 8-11.
Here they are again, but posted together for same time slots, CNN and Fox only:
• 8 pm
FOXNEWS O’REILLY 3,977,000
CNN — CNN had to drop programming and try yet again with ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker. No time yet to have a fair comparison, other than the fact that CNN has just repeatedly been unable to compete, hence the turmoil and change.
• 9 pm
FOXNEWS HANNITY 2,645,000
CNN KING 620,000 — Larry King, once the King of Cable News, is now having to retire. Literally. Sean Hannity just absolutely controls this time period. Period.
• 10 pm
FOXNEWS GRETA 1,856,000
CNN COOPER 581,000 — Anderson Cooper is over there gasping for ratings air against Greta Van Susteren.
So. Jon Klein is gone. Toast. What does this mean?
That CNN is in the hands of managers, not creators. Managers who are liberals. Just as with the folks at CBS who run the Katie Couric CBS Evening News show and got some of their highest ratings the night they had Rush Limbaugh on for barely a minute, things are headed south. Big time.
CNN, the original “cable news network,” surely looks over there at Fox and just don’t get it… deliberately or because they can’t. Once upon a time Ted Turner laughed at the idea Fox News would even come close to competing with CNN.
The Hannity-Larry King thing is particularly fascinating. Here was the Number One guy bar none….presidents and heads of state came to that show. America dropped everything at 9 pm to listen to Larry and whomever.
And now? And now head-to-head with Sean Hannity the results are so bad Larry King is being politely sent to the media showers. Mr. Klein has been in charge. But the betting here is that whomever is picked to replace Mr. Klein CNN will have picked — Mr. Klein. Which is to say some nice liberal manager who simply doesn’t understand what’s happening in this country.
Meanwhile, having fled the King at 9 pm., America Hannitizes. In the millions. Literally.
This is just amazing to watch. Tea Parties, Fox News, talk radio, conservative books at the top of the NYT bestseller list… and folks on the other side of this discussion spin around in chaos whether they are in the White House, Congress, in the media or wherever.
And it’s only begun.