CNN predicts record profits thanks to Trump

Despite suffering Twitter attacks from the new US President, the news network is thriving..

CNN predicts record profits thanks to Trump

Picture by Wilfredo Lee AP/Press Association Images

The president of CNN has said that Donald Trump declaring the channel to be "fake news" hasn't damaged its reputation with viewers.

In fact, the new US president's campaign and White House tenure to date has helped it to hit record profits and continue growing.

Jeff Zucker said:

"The CNN brand has been as strong as it has ever been", noting that "there is a tremendous amount of interest" when it comes to coverage of Trump.

The news network enjoyed its most profitable year ever in 2016 and it is in line to perform even better in 2017.

Zucker predicts that CNN's profits will hit $1.1 billion for the year, after setting new records for the last three.

Although it budgeted for a 25% decline in ratings as people lose interest in current affairs following the presidential election campaign, ratings for the first seven weeks of 2017 actually show a 36% increase in viewers over the same period in 2016.

The audience in the 25 to 54-year-old demographic – the most lucrative when it comes to advertising – has climbed 51%.

Similar increases have been recorded at competing stations Fox News and MSNBC as people's appetite for Trump updates shows no signs of waning.

Zucker continued:

"2016 was the biggest year in the history of cable news and 2017 will perhaps be even bigger.

"Three years ago people were suggesting that cable news was on its last legs and writing the obituaries for cable news. Now there is nothing more relevant in the landscape than these cable news networks.

"They are live, relevant and in the centre of what’s going on. They are as important and as strong as anything in television.”

Responding to the Trump administration's ban on White House officials appearing on CNN, as well as his frequent criticisms of the network, Zucker said that it has not affected their work:

"Our folks are just doing their jobs. They are not being intimidated. I would say morale is incredibly high because they ae incredibly proud of the job that CNN is doing in leading the way in many of these stories."