Jim Walton Interview…

The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Henry Unger interviews CNN Worldwide’s Jim Walton…

Over the past few years, as many media outlets cut international staffs and closed bureaus, CNN has beefed up overseas. Walton said “significant investments” were made to expand coverage in places like Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Kenya, Chile and India.

Here’s his strategy in a nutshell: Build the CNN brand around the world by providing original news content that attracts viewers — and advertisers. Go after the key demographic advertisers want to reach on TV news networks — the 25-to-54-year-olds with above-average education and money.

On the website, Walton said, CNN advertisers are seeking “lots of viewers who come frequently and spend time.” With original content, he said, they spend more time. That’s one of the reasons CNN.com no longer uses the Associated Press stories that are common on many websites.

More original content has helped the bottom line, he said. Despite the recession, CNN’s operating profit worldwide grew an average of 14 percent a year from 2006 to 2010, Walton said.


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