Saturday, January 04, 2003

CNN gossip...

CNN's ratings are in the toilet, but the cable network's on-air talents are looking a lot chirpier these days. According to ticked-off insiders, Teya Ryan - boss Walter Isaacson's number two - has handed down an edict in hope of regaining some ground against front-running Fox News Channel. "She let it be known to all on-air personalities in no uncertain terms that they are to be happy. Everyone has to be happy and chirpy all the time - that's what she thinks viewers want," our mole groused. "Kyra Phillips was on the other day and mentioned the doctors killed in Yemen and she looked like she was saying 'Happy New Year!' " No wonder on-air talents like Garrick Utley, Brooks Jackson, James Hattori, Allan Dodds Frank and Mark Potter were not so broken up when they were handed pink slips yesterday. CNN viewership fell 8 percent to 898,000 while Fox had a 34 percent spike to 1.2 million under the leadership of Roger Ailes. A CNN rep said: "It's completely absurd. Teya has never instructed an anchor to be happy. CNN's journalists always strike the appropriate tone.

The stupider that network gets the lower their ratings go. Hasn't anyone noticed that? Could it have anything to do with this?

Roll Call August 6, 2001

Copyright 2001 Roll Call, Inc.
Roll Call

August 6, 2001

LENGTH: 875 words


BYLINE: By John Bresnahan and Mark Preston

In an effort to improve his network's image with conservative leaders, new CNNchief Walter Isaacson huddled with House and Senate GOP leaders last week to seek advice on how to attract more right-leaning viewers to the sagging network.

Isaacson met with Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), House GOP Conference Chairman J.C. Watts (Okla.), Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to talk about CNN's image with conservatives and how it can be improved.

Isaacson confirmed that he also reached out to senior White House officials, but he denied that he was seeking counsel on how to boost CNN's ratings with conservative viewers.