Thursday, October 28, 2004

CNNfn TO CLOSE

Shock announcement out of CNN that they plan to shut down their business channel CNNfn after nine years of operation. They just couldn't make it work against CNBC and even Bloomberg TV. Sixty jobs are apparently toast. As for their business news programs, some of them are going to transfer over to the main CNN network, and Headline News is likely to pick up some of the slack. But this is not good news.

I wonder what Lou Dobbs thinks of this; he can't be too happy. CNNfn was basically his idea, but then again, Ted Turner is long gone from the scene, too. What appears to have happened is that the folks at Time Warner seem to have decided to try and save Headline News and feel that CNNfn is a complete lost cause- CNNfn doesn't go into many homes to begin with. (CNN also shut down its sports news channel CNNSI a couple of years ago, so this is another CNN channel down the tubes.)

It's actually a terrible time for all the business news channels- the stock market meltdown earlier this decade pretty much destroyed whatever demand there was for market programming. It's amazing CNNfn has lasted THIS long. A couple of years back, TechTV junked pretty much its entire daytime block of live market-based news programming that competed against CNN and CNBC, and fired lots of people. Even CNBC has had major problems. Their primetime programs Dennis Miller and John McEnroe have been getting audiences consisting of, well, friends and relatives. They're both getting a rating of .1! That's terrible! I read somewhere that McEnroe finished 833rd out of 844 shows aired on television in the United States. That's really bad; even infomercials are doing better than McEnroe. Reruns of sitcoms with casts full of people who have been dead for years are doing better than McEnroe on CNBC and are beating his brains out.

Latest news is that CNBC's decided to junk McEnroe and replace his show with reruns of Conan O'Brien- they have to keep Conan's visibility up between now and 2009, eh?

UPDATE- Here's a link to more stuff on the CNNfn closure from TVNewser

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