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CNN Refutes Gallup Memo; Says Memo Was Unprofessional & Untrue

CNN has issued the following response to TVNewser’s report that Gallup is ending its partnership with the network:

“Jim Clifton’s statements are not only unprofessional but in every respect untrue.


Jim Walton actually spoke with Jim Clifton, CEO of The Gallup Poll, and was told by Mr. Clifton that the reason that Gallup wanted to end their partnership was that the CNN brand was so dominant that Gallup wasn’t getting the attention for the polls that they wanted.


We want to make it clear that the decision to not renew our polling arrangement had to do with Gallup’s desire to produce their own broadcasts and not about CNN viewership figures. In fact, Gallup had negotiated with us for four months in an effort to extend the partnership.


While we appreciate that Gallup does not wish to have any broadcasting partner for the future, I must note that CEO Jim Clifton’s excuse to his employees for ending the relationship has no basis in fact. It shows ignorance of not only our viewership figures but of the reach and value of the CNN brand.


Domestically, our viewership was grossly misstated in his comments. CNN’s average monthly reach in 2005 was 66.7 million, far and away the No. 1 source for cable news.


Internationally, CNN stands as the leading news channel for a global audience, according to the European Management Survey, and continues to build upon that lead.


In addition to our broadcasting platforms, our news services extend to radio stations, computers, wireless devices and mobile phones and is available to more than 2 billion people in more than 200 countries and territories. Online, CNN.com and CNNMoney.com are two leaders in terms of credibility and audience, reaching an average of 23 million users every month.


For the last few months, we have been in the process of reevaluating our polling strategy and have been in discussion with a number of other polling services. We hope to have an announcement of our new partner in the near future. It is unfortunate that Mr. Clifton’s insecurity about the strength of the Gallup brand has pushed him to send out an inaccurate e-mail to his staff.”

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