The New Yorker - In a sweeping format change that marks the end of an era for the nation's first cable news outlet, CNN announced today that it would no longer air breaking news and would instead re-run news stories of the past “that we know we got right.”
The rebranded network, to début nationwide on Monday, will be called “CNN Classic.
“Breaking news is hard,” said the newly installed CNN chief, Jeff Zucker. “You have to talk to sources, make sure their stories check out O.K., and then get on the air and not say anything stupid. I, for one, am thrilled to be getting out of that horrible business.”
CNN Classic will begin its broadcast day on Monday, Mr. Zucker said, “with round-the-clock coverage of Operation Desert Storm.”
Mr. Zucker did not indicate what impact the new format would have on such CNN stars as Wolf Blitzer, saying only, “I can’t promise that Wolf will be a part of CNN’s future, but he will continue to be a big part of our past.”
The CNN chief scoffed at reports that other cable news outlets had eclipsed his network once and for all, throwing down this gauntlet: “We are going to win May sweeps with Hurricane Katrina......”
Media research organizations and journalism departments from two well known universities gathered last week and spent forty-eight hours watching and combing CNN in the hopes of finding any information whatsoever called off their search early they confirmed today.
“After monitoring every minute of CNN’s broadcast for two whole days, all we found was hearsay, rumors, falsehoods, and a steady stream of inane commentary, as well a one very obnoxious British chap” one participant said. “Everything but information.” The announcement was the second black eye for CNN, which earlier in the week recanted all of its reporting dating back to mid-2009.
The new CNN chief Jeff Zucker acknowledged that the network had experienced “a rough patch” since he took over earlier this year, but added, “At least no one was watching.”