As CNN continues to drive their content further left (and their ratings continue to tank), questions are mounting regarding the mainstream media network’s presence in U.S. airports.
The CNN Airport Network reaches the eyes and ears of around 323 MILLION people every year, and over 2.4K airport gates show the channel.
But, this could soon change as Americans are growing fed up with the network many are calling fake news and critics ask if travelers should be subjected to what they’re calling, in essence, leftist propaganda.
Folks are calling out the CNN airport monopoly on Twitter:
To get a good idea what we're talking about when we say "monopoly", here's a list of all the U.S. airports where the CNN Airport Network is shown:
- Albany International
- Ted Stevens Anchorage International
- Asheville Regional
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
- Baltimore-Washington International
- Bellingham International
- L.F. Wade International
- Logan International
- Chicago Midway International
- O'Hare International
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International
- Cleveland Hopkins International
- Dallas/Fort Worth International
- Dallas Love Field
- Dayton International
- Denver International
- Des Moines International
- Detroit Metropolitan
- General Mitchell International
- Fresno Yosemite International
- Greenville-Spartanburg International
- George Bush Intercontinental
- William P. Hobby
- Huntsville International
- Indianapolis International
- Jacksonville International
- Kansas City International
- Ketchikan International
- Ontario International
- New Orleans International
- Memphis International
- Miami International
- Minneapolis-Saint Paul International
- Myrtle Beach International
- Nashville International
- John F. Kennedy International
- Los Angeles International
- Newark Liberty International
- Long Island MacArthur
- Oakland International
- Orlando International
- Pensacola International
- Philadelphia International
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International
- Raleigh-Durham International
- Reno-Tahoe International
- St. Louis Lambert International
- Salt Lake City International
- San Diego International
- San Jose International
- Seattle - Tacoma International
- Spokane International
- Springfield-Branson National
- Tallahassee International
- Tucson International
- Washington Dulles International
- Ronald Reagan Washington National
Fox News has more to say about the growing concerns over CNN controlling America's largest airports:
CNN’s ubiquitous presence in airports -- where it broadcasts from thousands of screens to a captive audience of millions -- is facing new scrutiny after the cable network's hard left turn.
The CNN Airport network dates back to when CNN was known for straightforward news programming -- and has been a fixture at airports since before competitors MSNBC and Fox News even existed. But critics are now asking if busy travelers should be subjected to CNN’s increasingly ideological programming -- at gates, bars, food courts and baggage claims -- which can include on-screen chyrons or subtitles that gleefully mock President Trump. Many travelers have even taken to Twitter and started online petitions to urge airports to change the channel.
Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor told Fox News that CNN has become more partisan than MSNBC since Trump moved into the White House and travelers should have the option of not watching the network.
“How are airports justifying the idea of bombarding captive viewers with content many of them oppose? Sadly, almost any outlet is fairer now than CNN,” Gainor said.
But CNN isn’t actually forced on travelers because airports are looking to disseminate liberal doctrine. It’s forced on travelers because of money.
CNN pays airports to leave the network on, and many travel hubs even have agreements in which CNN pays for their TVs and infrastructure. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that airports also receive “up to six minutes each hour to promote the airport or local attractions” as part of the deal.
“CNN Airport covers the costs related to the TVs and related infrastructure, provides programming specifically geared for airports, and pays us for the opportunity to be in our facility,” a representative from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International said, while Miami International’s spokesperson simply pointed us to a document proving that CNN is willing to pay the most.
Long-term contracts typically give CNN the ability to curate content seen by travelers whether they like it or not. The eight-year contract that was signed in 2016 promises Miami International Airport “a maximum annual guarantee of $150,000” that may be adjusted annually to ensure the deal is on par with similar airports.
"Airports feel like a lesser version of hell with dirty seats, overpriced food and propaganda posing as news on CNN," Fox News host Tucker Carlson said last month.
The agreements blur the lines between news and advertising as the network blurs the lines between news and political activism.
Carlson said the agreement to air CNN on unsuspecting travelers made sense when CNN had a "centrist reputation," but now the network "has strayed so far to the left, constantly promoting wacky Russia-related conspiracy theories.”
A CNN Airport media kit says a whopping 323 million people view CNN Airport on an annual basis at the 2,400-plus gates throughout the country that carry the channel.
The Philadelphia Inquirer gave more details:
So you're sitting near the gate at Philadelphia International Airport, waiting for your plane. After you read your newspaper (I hope) and finish making calls on your cellphone, check emails and Snapchat (millennials only), you look at the wall-mounted TV screen, and there's CNN.
When you walk through the terminal changing planes in Chicago, there's CNN. And when you reach your final destination, San Francisco, the airport screens are showing CNN -- not Fox, not MSNBC, not ESPN.
And it's not exactly CNN. It is a close relative, a customized feed called CNN Airport Network, a satellite-delivered service that has a television monopoly at 50 U.S. airports, plus the one in Bermuda. It is seen at 2,400 gates.
The word monopoly makes CNN Airport Network senior vice president Debbie Cooper wince.
Winning contracts at airports is a result of responding to requests for bids across the spectrum, whether it's for TV operations, cleaning services, or restaurants. So while CNN has a "de facto" monopoly, says Cooper, other networks could be brought in.
WBT Radio also added the following insight:
Exiting a plane and walking into a gate at the Orlando International Airport, a booming voice from above rains down upon you as though offering some sort of supreme newsworthy guidance for your arrival to the Theme Park Capital of the World.
As you walk through the crowded terminal to get your bags or to catch a ride, there are some places to escape the even-toned offerings of the voice, but at other places, there’s no escaping that voice.
Then you realize it’s not a deity, rather it’s Wolf Blitzer of CNN. And to many, that’s major cause of unease because of the disdain much of the population has recently developed for the network since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president in 2015.
Since the release of the Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation of collusion between President Trump and Russia, CNN has seen its ratings plummet. The network dropped 24% in viewership in March of 2019, compared to March of 2018.
Moreover, during the first week of April, CNN fell to 15th in primetime viewership, trailing HGTV and USA Network, while also falling behind Nickelodeon and Investigation Discovery in total day ratings.
“Going into airports – major airports – the TVs that are on are always on CNN,” said frequent flyer Ken Coleman, who lives in Orlando and travels 80% of the work week. “I was kind of curious why it’s always on CNN and no other station (at the gates).”
But a drop in viewership is not the case with the CNN Airport Network.
CNN is the main content provider in some 60 airports throughout the country with its own CNN Airport Network. At one point, the network was in 20 of the top 25 busiest airports in the nation.
That means while sitting at the gate and waiting for a flight, CNN Airport Network is in view and many times within earshot, regardless of where you sit. It also means that while strolling to baggage claim or to get into a waiting car that CNN Airport Network follows you through the terminal.
And maybe that wouldn't be such a big deal if so many people didn't take issue with CNN. According to a Washinton Post poll done in January of this year, very few people listed CNN as their most-trusted news source. Other media outlets did even worse.
That survey says only 11% of America, (19% of Democrats, 3% of Republicans) list CNN as the news outlet they trust the most, be it television, radio or print. Fox News was second at just 9%.
Moreover, in a study by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Safety of major media outlets of both broadcast and print, it found CNN’s coverage of President Donald Trump was 93% negative and only 7% positive over his first 100 days in office. CNN tied with NBC with the highest percentage of negative coverage of President Trump, the study found.
Compare that to the numbers for previous presidents by all the news networks combined, where Barack Obama was 41% negative, 59% positive; George W. Bush, 57% negative, 43% positive; and Bill Clinton, 60% negative, 40% positive.
Dr. Robert Thompson, who is the Trustee Professor of Television and Popular Culture at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and the founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture, says news networks cause strong responses from people.
Within the last few months, reports surfaced saying American Airlines and Delta Airlines will no longer show news channels like CNN, Fox News or MSNBC in their private lounges at airports because of arguments amongst the patrons there.
“There is certainly a sense in this country where the mere presence off Fox News playing in a public space upsets people and the mere presence of CNN or NBC playing in a public place upsets other people,” Dr. Thompson said. “And an airport is the last place you want to be fomenting arguments among people. And it's a sorry state of affairs, but we are culturally now in an emotional environment that what's on the television set in a public place can cause a huge argument, and I think that's something to be looked at as well.”