In a memo, CEO Jeff Zucker discussed CNN’s “terrific year, ” that was “not without challenges.” In general, the memo emphasized the positive, as reported by Deadline Hollywood. “We are ending 2014 in our best shape in many years, ” Zucker wrote, ” Journalistically. Competitively. Financially.”
He singled out the coverage of the Ebola crisis and the missing girls in Nigeria as stories CNN reported on ahead of its peers. He also highlighted Anderson Cooper’s interviews with Donald Sterling and Magic Johnson, Drew Griffin’s expose of the Veterans Administration scandal as particularly bright spots in 2014.
CNN US is in second place its best competitive position since 2008. It has beaten MSNBC in prime time for five consecutive months, which is the biggest win in six years for CNN over its competitor. CNNI was voted News Channel of the Year for the second year running by the Royal Television Society and has won awards in Asia. CNN Digital saw its most successful year to date. CNNMoney has seen its traffic up 480% over 2013 and is number one in page views.
While improvements need to be made at HLN, said Zucker, it is still beating out MSNBC for total day demos. He congratulated his team, but added, “It would be a folly to ignore the fact that this success also came at a time of real change for us. As we all know, some talented people left the organization, many of them our longtime friends and colleagues. That has been tough, and it is okay to say so.”