CNN is on track to have its profitability below the $1 billion mark as the network’s ratings decline, sources familiar with the matter told The New York Times.
S&P Global Market projected that the network’s profit fell to $956.8 million this year, marking the first time its profitability has fallen below $1 billion since 2016, The New York Times reported. The network reportedly aimed to make a profit of $1.1 billion.
Another source said CNN President Chris Licht aimed for $950 million in profitability, which the network is on track to meet, according to the outlet.
CNN’s ratings have seen a significant drop in ratings in the past year, trailing both its main competitors, MSNBC and Fox News. The network has garnered an average viewership of 639,000 in prime time this quarter, dropping 27 percent in the current quarter compared to the previous year, according to the report.
Licht has focused on broadening the network’s TV viewership and projects the profitability will increase in 2023, a source told The New York Times.
SCOOP — CNN is on pace to dip below $1 billion in profit for the first time since 2016 amid crashing ratings, sources say:https://t.co/10Fw7iofrp
— Ben Mullin (@BenMullin) August 2, 2022
To handle finances, Licht hired a longtime friend, Chris Marlin, who has had no experience in handling a cable news network, the outlet reported. Marlin recommended cutting advertising deals with major tech companies such as Microsoft and to sell sponsorships to corporate underwriters in order to expand the network’s brand.
Licht, who became president after the newly merged Warner Bros. Discovery became the parent company, has attempted to focus on earning profit by pitching their “pristine brand” to advertisers, rather than putting so much emphasis on ratings.
“I don’t want producers making decisions based on what they think will rate,” he said, according to a recording obtained by The New York Times. (RELATED: CNN Loses Nearly Half Its Viewers In Post-Trump Network Ratings Bloodbath)
The network has spent millions of dollars covering the war in Ukraine and continued to spend money on their now-former streaming platform, CNN+. CNN ended the platform’s operations April 30 just one month after its launch March 29.
After spending nearly $300 million on the service, the network is attempting to pay off the costs of CNN+ by selling some of its programming to HBO Max and other content providers, according to The New York Times.
The Daily Caller reached out to CNN to confirm the details and for comment. The network did not respond at time of publication.