According to Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, his news network is still a trusted source of information.
Zucker says that despite President Donald Trump’s assertion that the network spreads “fake news,” he feels CNN’s trustworthiness remains unchanged.
“CNN has been around for 37 years, our trustworthiness today is the same as it was a year ago, before people in high offices started questioning it,” said Zucker while speaking at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. “We know that through our own brand research.”
Zucker feels CNN has “brand equity” that stems from years of hard work, and that those who depend on the network for news trust them as much now as ever.
“Just because somebody says you are not trustworthy, that doesn’t mean it is so,” Zucker stated.
CNN is making an effort to reach a younger audience, extending itself into digital brands. Earlier this year, the network acquired YouTube star Casey Neistat’s mobile video sharing app Beme for a reported $25 million. Neistst attracts almost 6 million viewers every day, and he just signed a deal with CNN to produce content for the network. CNN is banking on Neistat’s younger audience to help attract millennials to the cable network.
Speaking at the Cannes event with Neistat in attendance, Zucker said, “The world has changed — we can all get news 24/7 from any device, any outlet … but we want to tell different stories in different ways, and add to the news.”
Zucker says “personalities” like Neistat are important. “The way that CNN would traditionally tell a story is so different from the way Casey and Beme would tell a story, both are incredibly valuable, both will find their audiences,” Zucker said, maintaining that CNN is intent on being a multi-platform company, reaching its diverse audience in different ways.
“Everybody has an iPhone, everyone can be a reporter now,” Zucker said. “Everybody can tell a story from every part of the world. Why places like CNN matter is that it is still important to bring them together, put context around it and explain it.”
“We have hundreds and hundreds of reporters and people who can tell video stories and stand there with a microphone and a trench coat and tell a story, but we don’t have Casey,” Zucker concluded.
CNN’s diverse audience may appreciate the addition of Neistat, but they don’t believe President Trump was attempting to obstruct justice according to a poll CNN ran on its website.
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