CNN's Owners Have No One To Blame But Themselves When Share Prices Start To Fall


Apparently, AT&T bought CNN thinking it was some kind of an entertainment outlet.

It is, but only to those of us who understand that Ted Turner’s creation has devolved into something which no longer resembles, in any way, journalism.

How bad is CNN’s coverage of the president?

Well, depending on who you choose to believe, studies from Harvard to the Media Research Center place the ratio of positive to negative coverage between 91 percent negative to 93 percent. Every media analyst agrees. CNN’s coverage is so biased that it can hardly be called coverage.

And it seems to be cheerfully brought to you by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company with CEO Randall Stephenson and Chief Operating Officer John Stankey.

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When these guys bought DirecTV, I was a fan. When they brought out DirecTV Now (Now ATT TV Now) as a streaming service I was and still am a fan. When they bought Warner Media, I was OK with that.

I figured that CNN was already so screwed up, it had only one way to go — up. I was wrong.

I was against the Justice Department’s antitrust action. I still am.

That said, who knew that the two executives I listed above were closet liberals?

My suspicion still is that they’re not. What they, are, I think, is scared to death — like the dog which caught the car. They have no idea what to do. Owning HBO is one thing. You can always disavow Bill Maher.

But a news outlet? That involves editorial judgment and CNN already had less than none. It needs grown-ups to instill some discipline. Stephenson and Stankey are supposed to be those adults. Only nobody told them. They were too busy getting Hollywood elite sweet nothings whispered in their ears.

On one hand, they don’t want to make the left mad. After all, the left controls show biz — right?

On the other hand, they really don’t want to have to choose up sides against a president who could easily be re-elected. Much of its communications business is heavily regulated. And, just to make things interesting, an activist management company, Elliott Management, took a $3.2 billion position in AT&T and wants change as well as seats on the board.

So, wouldn’t the smart money be to make those clowns in Atlanta actually run a news outlet as opposed to taking virtually every opportunity to tilt to the radical left?

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Apparently, Mr. Stephenson had some spine when he bought into the entertainment business, but seems to have softened when it comes to making tough decisions regarding the content of his acquisitions which could ultimately send his share price plummeting.

Here’s a hint as to how another executive has handled it.

Apple’s Tim Cook — hardly a Trump fan — has kept an open channel to the president even though he supported Trump’s 2016 opponent.

That makes sense, considering their common interests, especially where it comes to China, trade and intellectual property.

Do you really think Trump would refuse Stephenson’s call?

As long as his company is channeling Nancy Pelosi, it is probably a difficult call to have.

But if Stephenson and Stankey could say, with straight faces, that they are aiming to make CNN a “just the facts” news outlet, you can bet Trump would take that call.

It’s high time the folks on Akard Street in Dallas started worrying about their shareholder value. They could fix CNN in two weeks. Nobody is asking that they try and duplicate Fox. Just be fair.

If they don’t, and 63,000,000 Trump voters take offense, well, they don’t make fallout shelters deep enough to protect them from the economic consequences.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Fred Weinberg is the publisher of the Penny Press, an online publication based in Reno, Nevada ( He also is the CEO of the USA Radio Networks and several companies which own or operate radio stations throughout the United States. He has spent 53 years in journalism at every level from small town weekly newspapers to television networks. He can be reached at You can subscribe, free, to the Penny Press weekly email on the website.