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Jeff Zucker on CNN’s MH370 Coverage: ‘The Audience has Spoken’

CNN planeMashable’s Jason Abbruzzese talks to CNN executives, including Jeff Zucker, about how the network has “embraced data to help understand not just what to say and how to say it, but where to say it and when to stop saying it.” In the case of the missing Malaysian plane, for example, the network concluded that “numbers, not critics, are the measure of success”:

“I think that if people want to be critical of CNN for over-covering a story, that’s totally fine with us,” CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker told Mashable. “Clearly, the audience has spoken and said that what CNN did was correct.”

CNN’s use of data to track the habits of consumers online and on TV helped the outlet realize that the plane story had legs. That research prompted the network to keep the story on air longer than might seem intuitive to a news producer.

[...] KC Estenson, general manager of CNN Digital, said the missing Malaysian airliner was just the most visible example of the network’s embrace of data as an editorial tool.

“We’re looking at consumption patterns and trends across the web, mobile, social and video, and then on third-party sites, looking at that and making decisions about how we program for all platforms,” said Estenson, who oversees CNN’s data operations. “You’re seeing that start to come online and start to bear fruit with something like the Malaysian airline story.”

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