Former CNN Exec Comes Clean, Says Trump Made CNN Relevant: ‘Rise and relevance of CNN tied to Donald Trump”

“I don’t think it was any more complicated than that Trump was good for ratings,” said a former CNN executive who requested anonymity to the news outlet digiday.

“Make no mistake, it’s a symbiotic relationship. The dramatic rise and relevance of CNN for better or worse is tied to Donald Trump,” the former executive continued sending shivers down the spines of CNN executives.

Those same executives won’t admit it publically, but who know Trump is right when he says they will be in trouble without him.


“What would go away is the bad guy in the story. There’s no antagonist. So what are we tuning in for?” said Jonathan Klein, a former president of CNN.

“Grandpa is a nice guy. Everybody might be relieved to not watch as much cable news anymore and go find a book to read, a garden to plant, or a socially-distanced walk to take,” he added,

“What Trump gave journalistic outlets was an audience that felt the urgency,” he said.

“Certainly if Trump loses, that urgency among 70% of the audience might dissipate a little bit, but you’re still going to be in the midst of an economic calamity, this wrenching social debate over inequality, and have a disease that may be killing tens of thousands of people a week.”

“It’s not unfair to say the media’s default posture is to be Trump skeptic,” said Peter Hamby a former CNN reporter.

“I think a lot of consumers have confused ideas about journalism and think it’s supposed to be resistance-y. The Times gets twisted up by this because they are a subscriber business.”

“The audience has always felt embattled whether they are in power in terms of the presidency or out of power,” one former Fox News executive told digiday.

“Trump won, but never for one day did they feel they were in power.”

“There isn’t going to be an arms race for Joe Biden TV analysts,” bemoaned one reporter who currently has a lucrative TV contract about what would happen to the industry if Trump loses.