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Former New York Times CEO Mark Thompson Eyed to Lead CNN in Major Turnaround Effort

Former New York Times CEO Mark Thompson Eyed to Lead CNN in Major Turnaround Effort

Mark Thompson, the former CEO of The New York Times, is reportedly a top contender to take over the reins at CNN following the ousting of Chris Licht. The news comes as CNN seeks to address significant challenges including steep ratings declines and a shrinking budget.

Thompson, who served as the CEO of The New York Times from 2012 to 2020, is among a small group being considered for the critical role of revitalizing CNN, according to news site Semafor. A media executive expressed skepticism regarding Thompson’s potential success in revamping CNN, considering the hurdles of ratings decline and financial constraints.

Known for his track record of transforming The New York Times from a print-centric business to a digital powerhouse, Thompson’s expertise aligns with CNN’s need to prioritize its digital revenue amid its struggling linear TV business. An anonymous CNN insider noted that Thompson’s ability to reshape The New York Times’ business model is exactly what CNN requires at this juncture.

Thompson’s past roles also include being the director-general of the BBC and CEO of Channel 4 in the UK. He currently holds the position of chairman of the board at Ancestry, a genealogy company based in Utah. His experience in the media landscape lends weight to his potential to lead CNN through a period of transformation.

Despite his background, Thompson is aware of the challenges facing television news. He previously remarked that the TV news business in the US is in “dead trouble” due to its audience shrinkage, particularly among younger demographics. He emphasized the need for news to evolve to meet the expectations of contemporary audiences.

If selected, Thompson would step into a position where his experience in media strategy and transformation could significantly impact the direction of CNN. The network, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, is currently trailing behind competitors Fox News and MSNBC in the cable news ratings race.

Thompson’s potential appointment reflects CNN’s determination to pivot towards a more digitally focused future while navigating the evolving landscape of news consumption and audience preferences. As the media landscape continues to shift, industry leaders like Thompson are being sought to steer major news organizations towards success in a rapidly changing environment.

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Ruben Jay
Ruben Jay
Ruben Jay is an American broadcaster, media blogger, and podcast host. Currently, Ruben is the President of MultiMediaMouth.com and the executive producer and host of the popular podcasts You’re My Best Friend and ON AIR with Ruben Jay, exclusively on MultiMediaMouth.com. Follow Ruben on Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok @TheRubenJay.

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