WarnerMedia CEO Says Coronavirus 'Really Good for Ratings'

CNN's parent company predicts wall-to-wall COVID coverage 'not going away anytime soon'

(Getty Images)
March 4, 2021

The CEO of CNN's parent company said on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic will continue to dominate the news network's coverage because it's "really good for ratings."

"It turns out the pandemic is a pretty big part of the news cycle and that's not going away anytime soon," WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said, speaking about CNN's coverage at a media conference. "It turns out it's really good for ratings." The comments drew a comparison by Wall Street Journal's Joe Flint to disgraced media executive Les Moonves's remark during the 2016 election that Donald Trump's then-candidacy "may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS."

Kilar apologized shortly afterward for not being "more thoughtful about my communication" and said he was "sorry for the sentence and for uttering it."

The coronavirus pandemic has been the source of more than a few ill-considered remarks by members of the political establishment and media. Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to President Joe Biden, said during the 2020 campaign that "COVID is the best thing to ever happen to [Biden]," according to a new book released this week on the 2020 election. Actress and Biden campaign surrogate Jane Fonda called the pandemic "God's gift to the Left" before apologizing that it was a "terrible thing to say."

CNN's ratings have taken a dive since the conclusion of Trump's second impeachment trial in mid-February.

Published under: CNN , Coronavirus