CNN president says antagonism toward Trump boosting employee morale … but at what cost?

CNN president says antagonism toward Trump boosting employee morale … but at what cost?
Jeff Zucker (Image: YouTube screen grab via Paley Center for Media)

Somebody might want to tell CNN President Jeff Zucker that employee morale don’t pay the electrical bill. Zucker stated Thursday that Donald Trump’s criticism of the cable network as the last word in fake new is being worn as a “badge of honor” by its employees.

That’s nice for the employees, though not all that encouraging for their employer, whose ratings are so bad they have slipped into third place, behind Fox News Channel (in first) and MSNBC.

Politico tries to put a positive spin on CNN’s declining fortunes by noting that Zucker “ordered a major brand study that was conducted throughout the month of January to examine what impact the attacks have had on its credibility with viewers and with the public.”

“There has been no diminution whatsoever,” Zucker said the study showed. “The CNN brand is as strong as it has ever been. Incredibly trusted. And we have seen no impact whatsoever in all those attacks on the CNN brand.”

But that reading doesn’t jibe with the results of a study conducted by Rasmussen Reports, which found that only 33% of cable news viewers said they trust the information they’re getting from CNN. That’s compared against 50% of viewers saying Fox News Channel is trustworthy and 43% having the same view of MSNBC.

CNN is taking its lumps not only from the new administration but from revelations that emerged during the campaign via WikiLeaks. Among the harmful leaks was an email showing that the DNC and CNN colluded on questions for then-primary candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.


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