Connect these two.
One, In the United States, Conservatives continue to outnumber moderates and liberals in the American populace in 2009, confirming a finding that Gallup first noted in June. Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 20% as liberal. This marks a shift from 2005 through 2008, when moderates were tied with conservatives as the most prevalent group.
Two, CNN, which invented the cable news network more than two decades ago, will hit a new competitive low with its prime-time programs in October, finishing fourth – and last – among the cable news networks with the audience that all the networks rely on for their advertising.
Now, who are the leading news guys on TV? Bill O'Reilly tops at 881,000 viewers and Sean Hannity rakes in 659,000 viewers . Liberal news analysis is way behind.
Consider the first snippets' implication on the second. Conservatives outnumber Liberals, 2 to 1. On TV, Fox's viewers outnumber their liberal counterparts, almost 3 to 1. Which means in addition to conservatives glued to O'Reilly and Hannity, moderates too seem to be joining in.
Where does that leave liberal news media? Of course, as a viewer segment liberal numbers are big enough to be catered to. But the question is, how many channels can profitably operate, pandering to bleeding liberals? Not many. And that's why CNN's going down.
What choices does CNN have? Reinvent and go the Conservative way. Its a good idea, considering there aren't any other strong conservative networks jostling with Fox for conservative eyeballs. But, that isn't going to happen any time soon, considering the fact that liberals can't and won't see business sense anytime in the near future. Isn't that why they see Obama as the Socialist saviour? Which means the choice CNN has is to ratchet up its liberal propaganda to the level of Chris Mathews, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, that may give them a chance. To stay afloat. But then again, CNN already has its opinionated sister network in HLN.
I say, it will be tough going for CNN.
Brands that see their segments dying, have three stark choices. Either abandon the segment to move to a growing one (reinvention becomes a must), or fight hard to eat into competitor share (added investment becomes imperative), or to go on their knees and pray hard (humility is non-negotiable) that their segment numbers grow.
For CNN, I recommend prayer. But then I realise, isn't God conservative?
Data Graph: Gallup