CNN: Renovation Done for Advertisers
Fascinating story came across the newsline today, describing how CNN’s recent re-do, which I have written about previously, was aimed largely at pleasing advertisers.
The redesign, which launched earlier this week, was planned first and foremost to please advertisers, [CNN.com SVP and GM David] Payne insisted, and less cluttered and cleaner experiences were at the top of agencies’ wish lists.
“Advertisers want their ads to pop, which means getting them above the fold in an uncluttered environment.”
I’m no prude. As someone who toiled in the fields of pulp and ink for over 20 years, I’m well-acquainted with the adage (adage!) that journalists are people who write on the back of ads. Without ad support–which is to say happy advertisers–there is no way to fund the expensive work that major media does.
Still, the plain admission that advertisers were the first consitituency of the renovation illustrates a key cultural difference between the commercial environments online and in print. It’s hard to imagine the GM of a newspaper saying its redesign was done first and foremost for advertisers. Inevitably the GM would intone, however disingenuously, that the rework was done to improve service to readers.
It makes you wonder: Do new media execs simply feel more free to tell the truth than their print counterparts?