Speaking at the Mobile World Congress, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker addressed the economics of the news industry and deemed Google and Facebook “monopolies” for their dominance in advertising.
“There’s no question in a Google and Facebook world, monetization of content is important,” Zucker said. “We are doing well. But we need help from the advertising and technology worlds, otherwise good journalism will go away. That’ll be bad for the U.S. and for the rest of the world.”
“Everyone is looking at whether these combinations of AT&T and Time Warner or Fox and Disney pass government approval and muster, the fact is nobody for some reason is looking at the monopolies that are Google and Facebook, and that’s where the government should be looking and helping to make sure that everyone else survives,” he said onstage in Barcelona.
“I think that’s probably the biggest issue facing the seriousness and growth of journalism in the years ahead.”
CNN recently laid off several dozen digital employees recently and shuttered Beme and MoneyStream in efforts to save money.
Zucker is only the latest media executive to discuss the difficulties in digital media economics. Rupert Murdoch, head of rival Fox News, has previously suggested that Facebook pay fees to news websites like the carriage fees television providers pay to channels.
Zucker also spoke highly of CNN’s viewership ratings. He said “live news and live sports are immune” to the shift towards streaming like Netflix and Amazon (although CNN is offered on Hulu’s live TV over the top service and CNN does stream its channels via CNNgo). “OTT has not had a dramatic effect on CNN. Our core business has never been stronger,” Zucker said.