CNN, in Comeback, Tops Fox, Boosts Profits

Exec Walton has overseen ratings comeback, doubled profits at cable icon
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2008 5:28 PM CST
CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer, right, reports on the progress of the Iowa caucus at CNN studios in New York, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Five years after CNN’s fortunes were so low that Time Warner considered selling it, the cable news icon topped Fox News among 25- to 54-year-old viewers for the first month since 2001. The upstarts had CNN running scared for several years, but a new president has streamlined management, increased audiences—and doubled profits in four years, the New York Times reports.

Though Fox’s overall viewership is higher, CNN under executive Jim Walton attracts higher advertising dollars. But animosity remains: “Journalism is key to what we do," Walton said. "Fox is doing something different." Replied a Fox spokeswoman: “When the debates are over and CNN slides back down to MSNBC’s level, we assume Jim will return to the comfort of Time Warner’s witness protection program.”