After a year of humiliating ratings and after thirty years with the network, CNN Chief Jim Walton announced today he is resigning:
"There's always pressure," he said. "I've been doing this a long time and CNN has had its ups and downs, like all companies have had ups and downs. I feel really strongly about a number of parts of this company. We're having a really strong year internationally and in mobile. It's clear there's a lot of spotlight on CNN's U.S. performance and it's reasonable that there is that spotlight."
CNN's U.S. network had its worst-ever ratings for a second quarter, down 40 percent for some of its prime-time shows. The decline was particularly notable in May, when CNN faced tough competition from broadcast networks during a slow news period and its ratings were compared to a year earlier, in the aftermath of the Osama bin Laden killing.
The problem with CNN, though, isn't CNN or its President. The problem is the news media -- and it's an institutional problem that won't be solved until a new way of thinking emerges that doesn't revolve around the selling of the soul to get Barack Obama reelected while pretending that's not exactly what they're doing.
As someone who has CNN and MSNBC on 18 hours a day, I can tell you that MSNBC is a hundred times easier to stomach than The Most Trusted Name In News. Not only are the individual shows better produced, but you don't feel like the network is treating you like a jerk, because MSNBC doesn't even try to hide its hard-left biases.
On the other hand, CNN is smug and dishonest and dull. CNN, Newsweek -- these are simply the first casualties in a slow-motion collapse of the institutional media.
Pardon me while I stand to applaud and holler, "Good riddance!"
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC