Cable News Network chief Jim Walton said he would love to ditch the news ticker that has
been creeping across the bottom of CNN since Sept. 11, but he can’t.
CNN research said viewers like the crawl, so it stays.
"I hate it, but we don’t program for ourselves," said Walton, speaking at the
Television Critics Association tour in Los Angeles.
His new prime-time star, Paula Zahn, echoed that sentiment, but anchors
Andersen Cooper, Soledad O’Brien and Bill Hemmer said they don’t mind it.
While the crawl may be staying, CNN is making other changes.
Former morning host Zahn is back from a six-week hiatus (which, she stressed,
was not in protest of any CNN executives, but rather to take some time off and work
on a documentary).
She’s now hosting the 8 p.m. hour, with Cooper anchoring at 7 p.m.
While Zahn and Cooper are already in position, the details of their
respective shows are still being developed.
O’Brien is in her first week as the new co-host of morning show American
Morning with Hemmer.
Of news ratings leader and chief competitor Fox News Channel, Walton said:
"There is certainly a lot of noise about a competitor, but I don’t get caught up
Saying that CNN’s business is global and about more than prime-time Nielsen Media Research marks,
he added: "If it’s strictly about higher ratings, we might have more tabloid,
more [that is] sensational and more talk."