Ad Wars…

I know I’m late to this but I wanted to make a couple of points about Joe Concha’s article on Mediaite regarding last week’s CNN full page ad taking aim at Morning Joe’s ratings…

In the meantime, the “why” question around the impetus behind the ad is answered on several levels: Morning Joe threw the first punch with a full-page ad of their own last month. And then Joe‘s executive producer made it personal via publicly celebrating people losing their jobs and bringing schadenfreude down to a whole new level. Boosting morale and going on the offensive played a role as well.

Let’s not overlook the obvious though. While all of the above may have been motivating factors in targeting the ad at Morning Joe, CNN very well probably would have taken out some kind of ad regardless because CNN just shuffled its anchor rotation on New Day and debuted a new home for Morning Express and the network would have wanted to build off of both of those events and positive ratings information is frequently used by networks to generate amplify short term buzz.

What makes this ad noteworthy is that it makes a break with CNN’s past. This is the kind of ad that the CNN of ten years ago would never mount regardless of how aggrieved they may have felt. It’s not the way Time Warner liked to do things and as of just 8 years ago it was understood by CNN staffers that this kind of message was not the sort of thing a Time Warner organization should do. That much was made clear to me directly back then.

But that was Jim Walton’s CNN. This is Jeff Zucker’s CNN. With a new sheriff comes new rules.

It appears Fox News wasn’t mentioned because the #1 network wasn’t the focus.

Obviously. But don’t think FNC PR isn’t noticing this more confrontational CNN and is taking notes.


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