Call it the final blow.
CNN is losing President Trump and now it’s losing its only captive audience.
For a long time, the steadiest viewers of CNN were airline travelers who had no choice but to sit there while CNN blared from television monitors that there was no way to escape short of keeping your eyes on the floor and your fingers in your ears.
Then the smartphone helped kill CNN. So did the virus.
CNN President Jeff Zucker in a memo sent to staff on Tuesday blamed the coronavirus pandemic for causing the end of the CNN Airport Network after 30 years of operation.
Zucker announced that the network, which aired in 54 airports in the U.S. and Bermuda, will stop its business “as of March 31,” citing the pandemic’s disruption of air travel in the U.S. and the world.
He also cited that travelers have turned to streaming news on their personal devices.
“The steep decline in airport traffic because of COVID-19, coupled with all the new ways that people are consuming content on their personal devices, has lessened the need for the CNN Airport Network,” Zucker said in the memo obtained by The Hill.
There was never any need for CNN at the airport. But people have more ways to opt out. At least until Apple and Google make watching CNN mandatory by preloading the CNN on your phone and force playing it whenever your eye wanders to your phone.
What Zucker and the story isn’t saying is that the CNN Airport Network is pay-to-play and that means CNN isn’t getting enough money back to make it worth paying airports to subject passengers to this abuse anymore.
There’s not enough audience and there’s not enough money. One day that will be CNN’s orbituary.