A Tale of Two CNNs, or Why News Doesn’t Break on TV Anymore

Some fascinating stuff going on when you get beneath the respective hoods of CNN’s decline and CNN.com’s ascent in recent years. It starts with traffic, as the following figure shows, and it continues to revenue, with CNN’s revenues dropping 11% since 2003, and CNN.com’s revenues doubling to $71.4m.

Best quote from a related AdAge piece is this:

“We’re all pretty convinced that news doesn’t break on TV anymore,” said Eric Bader, senior VP-managing director of digital connections at MediaVest. “Almost everybody across pretty much every economic and age demographic learns of breaking news online, increasingly on mobile.”

Powerful — and true — stuff.


  1. Miller Logan, M.D. says:

    Not surprising really. I know where I go for breaking news but I think there is still a place for in depth analysis a la NewsHour and NPR.
    It is easier to drive while listening to the radio or relax with a glass of wine while watching TV some of the time.

  2. One Way Stox says:

    I get most of my breaking news online from Drudge or Briefing.com

  3. Yeah well CNN in its early days actually gave some in depth long form reporting – reporting – you know what that is right? When a news person goes on location and digs for the story behind the story and not just what some anonymous official (Karl Rove, Dick Cheney) in the white house tells them the story is. It’s not because news breaks faster on the web, it’s because cable news – in an effort to become more profitable – has forsaken its true birthrite which is long form in depth journalism.

  4. ‘CNN’s Reliable Sources (podcast available this weekend did a montage of how the three cable networks handled announcement of Pace’s replacement on Friday.
    All three broke away from Pace story for the breaking news of Paris Hilton leaving her house to go to court.

  5. I get all my industry news from the 12 or so email newsletters that I get daily and weekly.
    I get all of my current events and human interest stories from The Onion.