Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, claimed that the pandemic caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus, or coronavirus, had been very beneficial to CNN’s bottom line, drawing numerous critics who dismissed his uninterested stance on the thousands of lives the pandemic has claimed.
During Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications virtual conference, Kilar said that the pandemic was an important part of the news cycle, so he assured that it was not going away anytime soon.
According to Kilar, in many ways the pandemic was good for society. “If you take a look at the ratings and the performance—it’s going well,” he added.
“If you take a look at the ratings and the performance, it’s going well. And I think it’s going well because, A, the team at CNN is doing a fantastic job. And B, it turns out that the pandemic and the way that we can help inform and contextualize the pandemic, it turns out it’s really good for ratings,” Kilar added.
However, once his comments echoed on social media, criticism and pressure began to pour in from netizens, so he was forced to backtrack on his comments, assuring that all he hoped was that the pandemic would end soon.
In response to Kilar’s comments, Wall Street Journal reporter Joe Flint highlighted via a tweet, “It turns out the pandemic is a pretty big part of the news cycle and that’s not going away any time soon … It turns out it’s really good for ratings.”
“Jason Kilar on post-Trump CNN. Careful. That’s awful close to Moonves line that Trump may be bad for U.S. but he’s good for CBS,” Flint noted in his post.
“I agree Joe. I would like nothing more than for this pandemic to be well behind us” Kilar replied. “I mean that with every fiber in my body. I wish I could go back and be more thoughtful about my communication.”
Kilar made such comments when more than 29.5 million Americans have been infected with the CCP Virus and another 534,000 have died.
As The Sun noted, Kilar joined WarnerMedia in May 2020 after serving as CEO of Hulu and senior vice president at Amazon. In April, before joining CNN, he said, “Stories well told have always mattered, and they matter even more in this challenging time for the world.”
In early February, it became known that CNN, which is part of the Warner Media division and AT&T Inc, had experienced an upturn in ratings while at the same time the United States had a change of administration, from Trump to Biden.