At least one person is legitimately terrified that CNN is doing so bad, that Fox News might one day take over. That person is the CEO and President of Media Matters Angelo Carusone. He said during a show on SiriusXM that he is literally “terrified” about the influence of Chris Licht, CNN’s new chief, and thinks that it would leave the network almost vulnerable enough to being taken over by Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News.
This is all just part of the conversation and not likely to happen. The conversation took place on The Dean Obeidallah Show. Carusone wants CNN to be successful, but still has this legitimate fear that Murdoch will find CNN at their weakest and offer to take over.
Here’s how the conversation went, according to Mediaite:
ANGELO CARUSONE: Thing I really am afraid of is that it is honesty that they sell to Rupert Murdoch. I’m terrified of this. It is super, it is his white whale and I think that it doesn’t fit into Discovery’s portfolio in a meaningful way. I’ve always been afraid of this, and the posture of making the platform more appealing, more attractive, more neutral, I think weakens it enough that they say, “Look, it’s just not worth it. We didn’t get the returns on investment. It hasn’t turned the corner yet.” You know, I don’t think they’re going to get the audience gains that they think they’re going to get, which is part of the strategy. And that’s a real problem, too. So at its core, I’m afraid that in the short term, we see some bad coverage out of them, some spots of bad coverage which actually have bigger harms when it comes from CNN. And then bigger… But longer term, I think that it actually weakens the business model of CNN enough that it makes them more susceptible to just being spun off. And that’s not great either.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH: That’s interesting, I never thought about that last one…
ANGELO CARUSONE: So I don’t think people realize how often Rupert Murdoch tries to buy CNN. It happens all the time. He did it and he made a really aggressive, year-long plus play in 2017 and a run at it in 2014. He’s made runs I did during the early 2000, and that matters because that’s how we got the Wall Street Journal. He tried to buy it half a dozen times before it, before he eventually convinced the Bancrofts, which were the owners of the Wall Street Journal, to sell it. So I don’t think it’s it’s insane or too far gone to say, nah, this guy doesn’t need to finance if he’s sitting on a mountain of cash that was supposed to be used and is earmarked for media acquisitions, they haven’t used it yet. It’s just I mean, there’s a mountain of cash. He doesn’t need the financing. He can pay for the deal in cash. He can overpay, which is what Rupert Murdoch always does. He always overpays, always, because he knows that it’s easier.