Larry King: CNN's 'Got Problems,' Should Play Spongebob Instead | National Review Online: "King offered CNN some programming advice: put on cartoons. “Put Spongebob on CNN — 24 hours — until a big story breaks. Then we break into Spongebob, and go to the hurricane, and then back to Spongebob,” he said, referring to the hit cartoon Spongebob Squarepants."
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There is no way to return CNN to its former glory as a cable news monopoly. People have come to view the news (I think mostly correctly) through an ideological prism.CNN has no way to differentiate its brand from the sea of other left-leaning news outlets. FOX has the right flank. CNN and all other news programming except MSNBC hold the left-pretending-to-be unbiased position.
MSNBC has basically made itself the FOX of the left. Except it isn't currently working for them. One reason is because a Democrat is in the White House, and partisan outfits tend to do better when they can rail against "the powers that be." However, I think the bigger reason is that all news outlets (except FOX and talk radio) are liberal, so while MSNBC is more overtly liberal, it can't differentiate it from the pack. Plus, I think that liberals really enjoy listening to Brian Williams or NPR and pretending like the news only happens to confirm all their priors because facts have a liberal bias.
One way CNN could improve its rating is by taking an overtly conservative approach to grab some of the conservative news market, which FOX currently has cornered. However, it might be difficult to do a 180 degree turn from its left-leaning brand. And more importantly, I'm sure Ted Turner would rather lose millions of dollars than make money with conservative programming.