CNN chief executive Jeff Zucker has brushed off a series of increasingly vitriolic attacks against the news network by President Donald Trump, arguing that far from undermining the organisation they were helping to boost ratings.
Trump has routinely dismissed the news channel as a purveyor of ‘fake news’ but in the organisations largest ever brand study to determine the impact of such mud-slinging CNN found that attacks from the White House merely bolstered its standing.
Speaking during a luncheon organized by parent firm Turner Zucker said that the CNN brand was ‘still incredibly trusted’, adding that advertisers were flocking to the station with a record quarter of sales being notched up.
Thus far CNN has been reaping a Trump bounce with ratings continuing to rise in the face of increasingly erratic pronouncements stemming from Washington, with cable news viewership rising 36% over the first seven weeks of 2017 among 25-54 year-olds.
Mindful that it must remain lithe despite its present success Zucker is pushing the networks digital strategy, predicting that CNN digital will produce $1bn in revenue within five years.