Jim Walton, the president of Worldwide CNN, announced that he would be stepping down from his post at the end of the year. After over thirty years of service to the company, and with CNN’s ratings at an all time low, Mr. Walton said the company is in need of a new leader.
In a statement to his employees and staff on Friday, Mr. Walton wrote: “CNN needs new thinking. That starts with a new leader who brings a different perspective, different experiences and a new plan, one who will build on our great foundation and will commit to seeing it through.”
CNN has always been well respected for holding the middle ground in news coverage. The network once was the front-runner on reporting news, but in recent years, their number of viewers has been on the decline. For the second quarter that just ended in June, CNN posted its weakest primetime ratings in 21 years, and total viewers fell 35% from last year.
Many blame CNN’s coverage style for the loss of its viewers. In comparison, Fox News has been successful because of its skewed conservative reporting -- while MSNBC rides on the success of leaning liberal.
Then the question remains, should CNN stop sitting on the fence when covering the news? If CNN changes its reporting style, it will not bump its ratings. The only edge that CNN has is its reporting style, and if CNN drops that in order to compete with the other news networks, then the company just lost the one element that made it unique.
Perhaps the solution lies in appointing a new kind of leader. CNN should follow in the footsteps of companies like Yahoo, and appoint a female president. Appointing a woman may give CNN the touch it needs to get back on top.
Mr. Walton wants someone with a different perspective and a new plan to take his place. A woman fits that criteria right off the bat. CNN is in desperate need of a makeover, so why not trust a woman to handle the job?