Amy Entelis Interview…

The LA Times’ Stephen Battaglio interviews CNN’s Amy Entelis about the network’s doc strategy…

When you first announced this strategy, your competitors said it wouldn’t work as a business. It’s pretty easy to control the cost of producing cable news in a studio. But series are riskier, aren’t they?

I think it was risky at the beginning. We went in small steps, so we didn’t throw a huge amount of money at this. We dipped our toe in with Anthony Bourdain and Morgan Spurlock and a handful of other series in the first year. As you do that you see the audience is pretty accepting and flexible about this. Our big question was not the money, it was, Will the audience get it? Will they understand that they can get their breaking news and they can also get something else? We were excited and surprised to see that they do.

So how do you make the economics work?

The money you pay at the beginning pays off in a lot of different ways. We can replay a lot of these hours. You develop a library with many hours of content that CNN did not have, which we use to populate off-hours and run marathons. We have a library we can draw on that amortizes the cost that makes it worthwhile. We can also sell it internationally.

One Response to “Amy Entelis Interview…”

  1. This not on topic but no FFA around. ESPN has parted ways with KO. I wonder if one of the cable nets would be interested in taking him on? MSNBC is looking for a ratings boost in PT and CNN is still trying to replace Piers Morgan. He may not last long but he’s a pro who has been a ratings success in the past and that may be enough to get him a contract back in cable news.

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