CNN looking to shift focus from TV to digital news: reports

CNN’s new parent company is moving away from its core TV audience and will invest in the network’s digital news operations as more people are reading news on their phone, according to a report Sunday.

WarnerMedia Chief Executive John Stankey is planning to invest in the news agency’s apps, and to tailor coverage based on readers’ interests, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing sources.

The legacy media company will take a page out of the playbooks of Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google, and use highly detailed analytics and an advertising company owned by AT&T, called Xandr, to target individual users, the paper said.

The planned changes have come to light just days after the Justice Department said it wouldn’t fight an appellate court ruling that cleared the way for AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, CNN’s parent company.

Jeff Zucker is also expected to continue in his role as CNN Worldwide’s president through 2020, until his contract expires, in addition to taking over Turner Sports, according to the report.

Stankey’s goal is for tens of millions of readers to spend around 10 minutes a day on CNN’s content, company insiders told the Journal.

While the company has lost viewers to Fox News and MSNBC since 2016, growing the TV audience isn’t a “top priority” for Stankey, according to the report.

The decision to boost CNN’s digital footprint isn’t the first major change for the new conglomerate. Last week, longtime HBO chief executive Richard Plepler, as well as Turner President David Levy, announced their resignations.

A spokesman for WarnerMedia didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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