Jeff Bezos has already bought the Washington Post newspaper, but amidst rumours that AT&T is looking to dispose of less important assets, it is reported that Bezos might use some of his Amazon billions to buy news broadcaster CNN.
The core report came from Sr. Correspondent for FOX Business Network Charles Gasparino who suggests that Bezos is looking to create a media empire.
CNN was founded by Ted Turner in 1980 and is now a unit of WarnerMedia News & Sports. It is hugely successful in terms of distribution and is available in some 200+ countries and territories.
However, CNN is far from WarnerMedia’s most profitable networks. Warners/AT&T does not break out the profits or costs associated with its broadcasts although in May 2019 it announced it was reducing staff and programming at its London bureau (of CNN International) in an attempt to cut losses of $10 million annually.
CNN is being helped in terms of ratings by the current US presidential race with viewing up (4 per cent y-o-y) for recent transmissions although Fox News regularly wins the US ratings battle. Fox News has the oldest (and whitest) audience. CNN’s more liberal attitude is still attractive for many viewers.
As to revenues it was reported earlier this year that CNN’s profits had doubled (2019 over 2018) to $1.2 billion thanks to global carriage fees as well as sponsorship and advertising.