CNN has experienced an onslaught of grim news in recent months, hitting record-low ratings among total viewers and in the coveted 25-54 age demographic. In April, the network experienced its overall lowest rated month since August 2001. In May, the network hit a 20-year low for total viewers during primetime programming.
Though CNN remains profitable, and its international network has been a happy source of growth and revenue, the ratings problems have overshadowed any bright spots, including the network's reported interest in purchasing social media and technology news site, Mashable.
Turner Broadcasting president CEO Phil Kent, who oversees CNN Worldwide and its president Jim Walton, reacted to the news in late May, saying that he was "very unhappy" with CNN's dismal ratings. He admitted that some shows "probably need to be replaced." He attributed the low ratings to the slow news cycle and what he called "self inflicted" causes. "We haven't put the best shows on the air," he said.
Walton assumed the role of president in 2003. The Post learned that his contract is reportedly up at the end of December, but that no decisions will be made before the November elections. A name that was allegedly floated as a possible replacement for Walton was former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, who is currently the executive producer of Katie Couric's new daytime talk show, "Katie." Couric's show debuts in September.
Earlier this week, the Post reported that Zucker was on another media company's short list as well—Tribune Co. Zucker is reportedly a top candidiate on Tribune owners' list to lead the company out of its messy bankruptcy.