Former CNN Anchor Is Worried About CNN’s Use Of “Breaking News”

Cable news veteran Frank Sesno asks, “how much ‘breaking news’ is really breaking news?”

Despite some reservations, longtime CNN employee Frank Sesno gave the network’s aggressive coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 his stamp of approval while appearing on the network’s own Sunday morning media show, Reliable Sources.

The 18-year cable news veteran defended CNN’s non-stop coverage of the missing jetliner, citing first the network’s brand as the place people turn to when a huge mystery like this captivates the public and ratings increase that these kinds of stories usually lead to.

However, Sesno warned about abusing the term “breaking news,” hinting that it might be time for the network to take its foot off the gas:

Sesno: “The big danger always confronting CNN — and it’s confronted CNN since CNN went on the air and started doing 24-hour news — is how loud to shout, how much to do this, how much “breaking news” is really breaking news, and how do you convey to your audience this a huge story?

CNN’s primetime ratings went up 67% in the first few days of the story, and they continue to be stronger than usual as the network’s coverage enters its 11th day.

Determining how much is too much is the question — especially in a business that continues to work with a flawed Nielsen television ratings system and an advertising industry that uses the Nielsen metric as the measure of television success.

Watch the full Reliable Sources segment below:

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