International Peaks and Valleys…

Variety’s Brian Lowry writes very smartly about CNN’s up and down, up and down…

For CNN, another international crisis means another opportunity — until, of course, it doesn’t.

Turmoil in the Middle East and a devastating earthquake in Japan have once again ratcheted up U.S. interest in what’s happening overseas, triggering a related flurry of stories about how CNN has been the beneficiary. Once again, CNN is talking about how to parlay its temporary ratings surge into renewed vigor and an improved competitive standing.

If that sounds familiar, it should. Top CNN execs probably don’t want to hear that they sound like Jonathan Klein, but in early 2005 their predecessor at the channel was saying a lot of the same things after ratings spiked in response to the Indonesian tsunami. “CNN Demonstrates Global Strength With Tsunami Coverage,” read one press release at the time.

Yet CNN’s strength has also consistently turned out to be its glass jaw — a function not merely of missteps by the channel (though there have certainly been plenty of those), but a short U.S. attention span when it comes to sustaining focus on crises abroad.


9 Responses to “International Peaks and Valleys…”

  1. IMO, the reason people don’t continue watching CNN Domestic in droves after a big International event would be…

    They’re tired of being fed the bait & switch. If you tune in for International news, why would ya wanna watch Lohan & Spears?

    Of course I don’t expect the Domestic channel to report on every International story but sandwiching them between celebrity gossip and missing white chicks couldn’t hurt.

  2. harry1420 Says:

    once again, people know to tune into cnn when a big crisis news story happens. the problem, there’s not always a big story happening. what do you do? do you copy fox and program political yack fests all day long? NO. CNN should report the news NEWS NEWS NEWS. let people know if they want the news you can find it at cnn. if people want the yack fests of fox well they can turn to them.

  3. whitneymuse Says:

    As a long time Fox viewer, the great coverage of Japan, made me a permanent viewer, particularly on Saturdays. Don’t like the Huckabee (sic) talent show, and the Gerald-o show, but I peek sto see what they are showing.

    That is why I’m glad I stumbled upon this blog.

    BTW, is John Bachelor ever mentioned in this Place?
    I also love his theme song for his show.
    (sounds like someone singing through a megaphone in the old days of pre-electronics.

    Just cannot remember his name, now.

    Al Bowlying (sic) or something like that. Forgive me for not knowing it verbatim .

  4. Al doesn’t strike me as the bowlying type, but I could be wrong.

  5. whitneymuse Says:


    You forced me to look it up:

    Theme song: “Midnight, the Stars, and You,” by Al Bowlly, recorded 1934 by the Ray Noble Orchestra. Posted by John Batchelor Show, Once you hear it ….It’s like a great bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (sic) I only drink it…but only when I can afford it.

  6. I prefer caffeine-free diet pop (or Pape). I can always afford it.

  7. whitneymuse Says:

    Good; I prefer caffeine contained diet coke, and arabica coffee; only get the Chateau on special days; have to thread the needle with this administration’s screwy policies of running an economy; we play the cards that are dealt.

    This isn’t Egypt or Libya, yet. Or, Feudal Japan. Although, England seems a bit on the raucous side, lately.

    BTW, I make good use of the cntrl + or – quite frequently…those switches are helpful…forgot they existed, thanks for the reminder, the other day.

    BTW, don’t use the Beta of Firefox 4…all my extensions are disabled now. All my gold prices from Kitco are ((((poof))))all improvements are not always better.

  8. Kitco! Oops, I’ve said too much.

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