It was announced a couple of weeks ago, but if you weren’t paying attention, today was a little weird in the NY cable world.

CNN’ has been demoted by Time Warner Cable to Channel 78. It’s been 10 on the “dial” for many, many years. Now it’s been catapulted into the outer space of the cable dial in the country’s most important media market.

In its place, a channel that absolutely no one needs or was missing: FX. They show “Nip/Tuck,” and re-runs of Fox movies and TV shows.

Also demoted was Lifetime, traded with Oprah’s Oxygen Network. So just at the moment that cable’s most popular reality show, “Project Runway,” comes to Lifetime, the channel is sent to Siberia.

But the CNN change is really ridiculous. Everyone knows the lower number channels get the higher traffic. And while CNN has lagged in ratings for a few years, it’s still the number 1 news destination when there’s a crisis. The next time there’s a terrorist bombing a lot of people may be watching “That 70s Show,” wondering if Wolf Blitzer has been replaced by Ashton Kutcher.

Different reports have suggested that channels pay extra to get top billing. Interestingly, both TNT and TBS have retained excellent spots on the Time Warner lineup. They, like CNN, are owned by Time Warner. So this begs the questions: did Time Warner not care what happened to CNN? Did they think TNT and TBS were more important? It sure seems like it.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Leave a Reply