Friday, 15 November 2019 17:52

Will CNN tank AT&T's management?

Written by Fred Weinberg
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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% negative to 93%.  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.  At 208 S. Akard Street in Dallas, Texas.  CEO Randall Stephenson and Chief operating Officer John Stankey.

 

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.  Still am.

 

That said, who knew that the two executives I listed above (along with their emails) 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 blown up their skirts.

 

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 their 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?

 

Apparently, Mr. Stephenson’s testicles were there when he bought into the entertainment business, but seem 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.

 

 

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Fred Weinberg is a guest columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. This is an edited version of his column, reprinted with permission.