Whoa! CNN Digital is a monster within a monster as the cable news network’s digital operations are expected to rake in more than $370 million topping Buzzfeed’s expected 2017 revenue of $350 million as well as other competitors. CNN boss Jeff Zucker has been bullish on digital pumping cash and new hires into the operation to help realize his goal of turning the division into a billion dollar business. Today CNN Digital has an army of 660 people and has launched and plans to launch many new verticals. But unfortunately for Mr. Zucker his digital unit faces the same headwinds as its competitors and in addition, some belt tightening after a reported $20 million short fall ahead of the very buttoned up and annoyingly super corporate AT&T closing on its take over of Time Warner, CNN’s long time parent company.
CNN is among many news outlets attempting to navigate an increasingly difficult and competitive digital media environment. Publishers, including BuzzFeed, are exploring new ways to diversify their revenue streams and keep up as Facebook and Google continue to gobble up more and more ad dollars. Ad firms and media outlets also have to deal with large consumer-goods companies cutting back on advertising spending recently.
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