We’ve all been there. A long wait between flights. Maybe stuck in an airport for hours. Or even overnight. And there it is. On every TV screen in the whole damn airport. The Most Trusted Name in News™. Right. [rolling-eyes emoji] CNN. Everywhere. Never-ending.
Welcome news. https://t.co/AueNIKIPY3
— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 13, 2021
Finally, from CNN’s Grand Potentate himself — Jeff Zucker — those words that conservative travelers the world over have been waiting to hear for years:
“Today, we are announcing that CNN Airport Network will end operations as of March 31.”
Zucker blamed COVID-19 and reduced airport traffic and stuff:
“The steep decline in airport traffic because of COVID-19, coupled with all the new ways people are consuming content on their personal devices, has lessened the need for the CNN Airport Network.”
Wait — the “need” for only CNN to be shoved in our faces, on every TV in every major airport in America? And multiple airports around the world?
Yeah, no “need,” there, Jeff — but thanks.
As is the case with “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” Zucker said wistfully [sarc] that “saying goodbye to such a beloved brand is not easy.” Yeah, pretty sure we’ll get over it posthaste, Jeff.
“Having to say goodbye to such a beloved brand is not easy. I want to thank our friends and colleagues who have contributed to its success and to celebrate the fact that for 30 years, the CNN Airport Network has kept millions of domestic travelers informed. It has also become an iconic part of the traveling experience in this country.”
We’ll be good, Zuck; somehow, we’ll forge ahead.
Jeff Zucker has notified CNN staff that “the CNN Airport Network will end operations as of March 31.”
“The steep decline in airport traffic because of COVID-19, coupled with all the new ways that people are consuming content on their personal devices, has lessened the need…” pic.twitter.com/9se3oCw1gr
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 12, 2021
Although I’m sure that the whole of Twitter was crestfallen upon hearing that Airport CNN will soon be a thing of the past, at least a few notable folks were able to pull themselves together with a stiff upper lip and weigh in on Twitter.
YouTuber Matt Walsh was among them — with a stark reality for CNN.
CNN has just forfeited 95 percent of its viewership https://t.co/my36GL51WL
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 12, 2021
David Burge — AKA: IowaHawk — pulled himself together, as well.
You hate to see it, and by that I of course mean CNN at the airporthttps://t.co/ibJdjbRnJK
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) January 12, 2021
The Spectator’s Amber Athey was so torn up, she “WTF loves COVID now.”
Wtf I love COVID now … pic.twitter.com/SeA0Ss44PE
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) January 12, 2021
Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti thinks “2021 is looking up already” with the demise of Airport CNN.
2021 is looking up already https://t.co/xNHtyz2mxL
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) January 12, 2021
And NewsBusters’ Curtis Houck thinks the demise of Airport CNN is “Best. news. EVER.”
Best. news. EVER https://t.co/AUmuMXwSeb
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 12, 2021
Anyway, here’s how CNN’s airport gig worked, as reported by Fox News.
As part of the deal, CNN paid airports to leave the network on, and many travel hubs even have agreements in which CNN pays for their TVs and infrastructure. The Philadelphia Inquirer previously reported that airports also receive “up to six minutes each hour to promote the airport or local attractions” as part of the deal.
“CNN Airport covers the costs related to the TVs and related infrastructure, provides programming specifically geared for airports, and pays us for the opportunity to be in our facility,” a representative from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International told Fox News in 2018, while Miami International’s spokesperson simply pointed to a document proving that CNN is willing to pay the most.
Long-term contracts typically gave CNN the ability to curate content seen by travelers whether they like it or not. The eight-year contract that was signed in 2016 promises Miami International Airport “a maximum annual guarantee of $150,000” that may be adjusted annually to ensure the deal is on par with similar airports.
As Fox News noted, CNN’s agreements have blurred the lines between news and advertising as the network blurred the lines between news and political activism.
I’m not sure about “best news ever,” as Curtis Houck said. But damn close. For those who spend too much time in airports, that is. Then again, what if PMSNBC gets the gig?