the kicker

Seeing CNN’s Hologram in Context

November 19, 2008

“CNN: The Most Trusted Name In News?” Up for debate. “The Most Nicknamed Name in News?” Who could argue? Car-Chase News Network. Clinton News Network. And now: Corpulent News Network (courtesy of the New York Observer‘s Felix Gilette, who used to write for CJR).

Per Gilette: “For much of the 2008 election, going-as-over-the-top-as-you-possibly-can might as well have served as [CNN’s] mission statement.” And, given the dire financial straits in which so many news organizations now find themselves:

…CNN’s current swagger, from its battery of technology to its cornucopia of talking heads, seem[s] that much more freakish—the aberrance of opulence in the leanest of times. Over the past year, CNN has racked up double-digit profit growth for the fifth straight year. Time Warner does not officially break out the numbers for CNN. But according to data from industry analysts SNL Kagan, in 2008, CNN brought in more than $1.1 billion in total revenue.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.