TONY POTTS: My Thoughts On CNN As Anthony Bourdain Exits Travel Channel for CNN | TonyPotts |

 CNN is in big trouble. No ratings. Seriously, it's laughable. Ratings dip to all-time or near all-time lows consistently and now the network is falling to third, behind Fox News and MSNBC, repectively. Globe trotting 'No Reservations' star Anthony Bourdain is leaving Travel Channel for CNN. That won't happen until 2013. As long as CNN let's Anthony be Anthony (i.e the reason why CNN wooed him in the first place), it is a smart move. Networks are notorious for 'over-producing'. Over-producing rarely produces 'real moments', you know, the moments we are all talking about the next day? BTW--Boudain's move to CNN can't happen soon enough.

Among many problems at CNN, a few standout as obvious, but possibly tough for them to correct. Too many chiefs. It takes FOREVER to move on creative. The visual most have in the industry of CNN is that it is this lumbering, slow-to-react entity (not in breaking news, of course). To push anything thru from the outside (and internally as well) takes more than an act of God. Buddha may have even given up. But it's not merely reactionary, is 'actionary'. Taking risks and having a singular, clear-message from the top is key. Employees will rally around a clear message. If the message has to filter through too many managers, it gets lost and is less focused. I know a number of people who do not even attempt to pitch the network with new show ideas anymore. On the talent side, I think the ratings, mixed with programming, speak volumes. 

However, make no mistake, there many, many talented people at CNN. Give them a singular mantra and leadership that can be reached directly and their talents (and morale) will soar. Ratings will follow.

Now, start peeling away the layers CNN. Peel away.