CNN Airport Network to Go Off the Air Permanently Due to Lack of Airline Travelers

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After a 30-year run in airports around the country, the CNN Airport Network has plans to shutter its screens for good due to the fact that the coronavirus has essentially brought airline traffic to a standstill.  Moreover, with the advent of more sophisticated mobile devices, air travelers are using their own phones, laptops and iPads for entertainment  while at the airport.

In a memo posted by Oliver Darcy, a CNN senior media reporter, it has been announced to network staff by CNN president Jeff Zucker that the airport TV channel will cease operations on March 31st of this year.

“The steep decline in airport traffic because of COVID-19, coupled with all the new ways that people are consuming content on their personal devices, has lessened the need…”

— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 12, 2021

In his memo to employees, Zucker reflected on the three decades of CNN news coverage at airports nationwide. He wrote that the airport network “became an iconic part of the traveling experience in this country. I am sure most of us have a story to tell about which airport we were at when we first learned of a major event.”

The CNN Airport Network is based in Atlanta, Georgia and can be seen in airport lounges, and gate areas in 58 airports around the country. Prior to the emergence of the coronavirus, millions of people each day got their news from the airport network as they traveled via commercial airlines for business or recreation.

In addition to live news reports on CNN, travelers also received lifestyle, entertainment, business and sports news.

In Atlanta, the CNN Airport Network is the only game in town for televised news consumption at the terminal and concourses of the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

According to a report in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the CNN Airport Network was the only bidder for the spot of news provider, even though the airport wanted to give others a chance at the contract.

The AJC reported that the former manager of the airport said that “he wanted to focus more on “premium programming” and include the airport’s own advertising. The airport ended up again awarding the contract to CNN Airport Network in 2019.”

Now that the CNN Airport Network is closing up shop, the Hartsfield-Jackson airport will now be rebidding the contract in search of a new vendor for such services. Until they find a suitable replacement, the AJC report indicated that airport will air their own videos and promote airport services on their television screens.