More Klein…

The LA Times’ Joe Flint interviews Jon Klein.

In an interview, Klein revealed that he had recently renewed his contract with CNN and has “quite a bit of time left” on his deal. Furthermore, just last April his boss — CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton — said he wasn’t worried about CNN’s poor ratings.

“It’s not as dire as maybe some people say,” Walton said, adding that while he wasn’t satisfied with the performance, he also wasn’t “concerned.” At that time, CNN had seen its prime-time ratings drop by more than 41% from a year ago.

That doesn’t sound like someone getting ready to make a big executive change. On Friday, Walton said CNN’s performance was the reason for replacing Klein with HLN chief Ken Jautz.

“We’re not satisfied with the low ratings,” Walton told reporters on a conference call, but did not elaborate on what specifically had changed from a few months ago.

The fact that Klein signed a new multi-year deal says a lot about today’s firing. It’s not unheard of for someone to get the heave ho after doing a new deal. Kevin Reilly at NBC Entertainment is the most recent example…until today that is. But the timing is still hinky for me (see below blog entry for reasons why).

4 Responses to “More Klein…”

  1. The interesting thing in the interview for me was the Jautz quotes.

    ‘Jautz said CNN “will stick to its nonpartisan programming philosophy” but he was quick to add that “the network needs a shot of adrenaline.”

    “We have to be more exciting… in order to engage the prime-time audience you need to provide them something more”. That means he said that CNN will start to have more opinion trickling into its content, but the network will do it in an “inclusive manner.”

    I’m not sure how you ‘stick to nonpartisan programming’ and ‘yet have more opinion trickling into…content’ at the same time.

    And I’m also not sure when he says he wants to do it in an ‘inclusive manner’; what that means; but if I’m John King, Wolf Blitzer or Candy Crowley I can’t be pleased.

    Like the spaces Joe. 🙂

  2. tinafromtampa Says:

    Walton is just as much in denial as Klein was. Anyone at CNN who claims they are non-partisan is blind as a bat.

  3. It was Jautz who said CNN was non-partisan; not that will matter to you.

  4. Here’s yet another article on the Klein firing from Politico that includes comments from ex CNN types like Frank Sesno & Aaron Brown. Everyone seems to have more questions than answers but there is some interesting comments on CNN’s profitability.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42697.html

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