CEO of Time Warner Jeff Bewkes Promises to Fix CNN's Low Ratings

4798Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes ticked off all of the things that went right for Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System during the second quarter.
TNT's original programs, "Perception" and "Dallas," brought 40 percent more viewers to the network. For TBS, "Men at Work" became the most popular original series in network history. Ratings for NBA games were up for a fifth straight year.

Then he addressed CNN.

"To be clear, we are not satisfied with CNN's ratings performance, and we are focused on fixing it," Bewkes told analysts Wednesday during the company's quarterly earnings conference call.

His report comes less than a week after CNN chief Jim Walton said he plans to leave the company by the end of the year. Walton, a veteran of the Atlanta-based cable network, has been at the helm of CNN for 10 years and helped build the network into a profitable, international brand.

But the network has suffered from low ratings in recent years. In response, CNN has continuously shuffled on-air talent and programming, especially in the morning and during prime time. Neither Bewkes, nor the analysts, discussed Walton's announcement or who might be in line to replace him.

Bewkes said CNN, known best for its breaking news and elections coverage, is going to do a better job of airing programs that hold viewers. "We have people coming; they are not staying as long as we'd like," he said.

The network will continue to provide "objective, comprehensive, non-partisan coverage really covering all of the partisan views," said Bewkes. The focus will be doing that in "a very compelling way," he said, without giving details.

Source: | Kristi E. Swartz 
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