Jim Walton
Title: President, CNN News Group
Last Year: N/A
Age: 49
Education: U of MD, BA

Why Him? After battling main rival Fox News for viewers along the presidential election trail, winning some weeks, losing others, CNN and Walton emerged victorious on election night itself. The cable news net, which Walton has run for 5 years, garnered a 6.7 HH rating/7.68mln HHs. Those numbers beat Fox News’ by roughly 29% and also placed CNN in 3rd for the night across broadcast and cable, ahead of CBS. Surprised? Don’t be. On the final night of the Democrats’ convention, CNN bested the ratings garnered by every other net. In addition, the net achieved 68% YOY growth in prime viewers in 3Q and a whopping 200% in Oct, according to Nielsen data.

Wolf’s Pack: Among ad-friendly 18-49s, CNN garnered a 104% increase in 3Q prime and 302% growth in October prime. And it wasn’t just numbers. The likable Walton, who’d long pointed to CNN’s revenue gains when confronted by Fox’s rising ratings, told The NY Times in Feb that CNN’s profits had doubled in the last 4 years.

Year Ahead:
CNN and other cable news nets will likely face a post-election viewership hangover.

CH

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