CNN President Jeff Zucker called on regulators to investigate Facebook and Google at a recent conference in Barcelona.
Variety reports that speaking in a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, CNN President Jeff Zucker called on tech firms and advertisers to generate new ways for publishers to monetize news content on social media and called on authorities to put more focus on the influence of Facebook and Google. Speaking at the conference on Monday, Zucker stated: “In a Google and Facebook world, monetization of digital and mobile continues to be more difficult than we would have expected or liked.”
He continued, “I think we need help from the advertising world and from the technology world to find new ways to monetize digital content, otherwise good journalism will go away.” Zucker also stated that regulators overseeing large media mergers should pay closer attention to Facebook and Google. “Everyone is looking at whether these combinations of AT&T and Time Warner or Fox and Disney pass government approval and muster, the fact is nobody for some reason is looking at these monopolies that are Google and Facebook,” Zucker said. “That’s where the government should be looking, and helping to make sure everyone else survives. I think that’s probably the biggest issue facing the growth of journalism in the years ahead.”
The average age of CNN’s audience is 59 amongst live TV viewers, 44 amongst users on digital platforms and 37 amongst mobile users. Zucker stated that due to the nature of CNN as a live news channel, they have been relatively protected from the recent phenomenon of cord-cutting, where TV viewers are turning to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and SlingTV rather than paying for a cable subscription package.
CNN has regularly come under attack from President Trump for their liberal bias and fake news, so it came as no surprise that when Zucker was asked what he would title the upcoming adaptation of journalist Michael Wolff’s book about the Trump administration, Fire and Fury, Zucker replied that he would name the show “Crazy Town.”
Zucker believes that the show should open on the night of President Trump’s election win, “Nobody in the Trump campaign at that time believed for one minute that they were going to win,” he said. “I think both the excitement and fear that probably existed would have to be the most palpable scene.”