The TV Newser at Media Bistro reported earlier today (hat tip to Drudge) that the Gallup organization is dropping CNN as a partner citing declining viewer rates as the reason.
According to TV Newser:
“In a memo dated Wednesday, March 15, CEO Jim Clifton wrote: ‘We have chosen not to renew our contract with CNN. We have had a great relationship with CNN, but it is not the right alignment for our future.’
"'CNN has far fewer viewers than it did in the past, and we feel that our brand was getting lost and diluted,' Clifton continued. '...We have only about 200,000 viewers during our CNN segments.'"
Apparently, CNN is disputing this, saying that Gallup’s decision had nothing to do with the network’s declining ratings. However, Drudge has gotten an exclusive copy of the actual memo from Clifton. Here is another one of the reasons Clifton listed in his memo for this decision:
3) By dissolving our partnership with CNN we believe that Frank and other Gallup analysts will be seen as more independent so they will be more likely to be invited on a wide variety of television shows rather than primarily linked to CNN. We believe with this new found independence, we will get covered by more broadcast media because we are not the poll of their competitor.
Ouch. Clifton actually said that Gallup no longer wanted to be linked to CNN. Of course, who could blame them?
Clifton also gave a huge boost to the burgeoning importance of the Internet as it pertains to news: “We also will be featured on AOL's front page for news. The AOL e-distribution will likely add more eyeballs per day than all of CNN.” Double ouch.
In a parting shot, Clifton added: “In the big picture, USA Today supplies more than 10x the users per day than CNN.” And growing, Jim. And growing.