CNN Advertising Drop 'Stunning': Washington Post

CNN Faces 'Stunning' Challenge

CNN's ratings woes have long been cushioned by a steady stream of cash. But, according to a new report in the Washington Post, even that money is in some jeopardy.

Thanks to healthy revenue from CNN International, as well as a non-partisan approach that advertisers like, CNN has been able to breathe a sigh of relief about the overall state of its financial performance. However, as the Post's Paul Farhi wrote on Wednesday, the ratings have affected the finances:

CNN ratings troubles — the audience has dropped 37 percent over the past six years — have long been masked by rising profits generated by Time Warner’s many cable and digital properties. But in recent years, CNN’s inability to attract viewers consistently has begun to make a noticeable dent. The network’s advertising revenue fell 10 percent last year, to an estimated $313.6 million, according to Derek Baine, senior analyst at SNL Kagan, an independent research firm.

That’s a stunning fall in an industry used to solid annual growth. But it’s even more alarming to CNN’s masters at Time Warner because it came in an election year, typically the most profitable for cable news.

CNN is, of course, in the middle of a top-to-bottom demolition job, which, along with higher ratings, executives will hope to see increased profits.

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