Cable News Network top brass are striving to downplay the escalating rivalry with Fox
News Channel. "It's distracting," CNN chairman Walter Isaacson said at the
Television Critics Association tour in Pasadena, Calif., Wednesday. "I grew up in
an environment with 200 magazines on the rack. More and more people doing news
is a good thing."
The channel's top talent also weighed in. NewsNight with Aaron Brown
anchor Aaron Brown said he won't take shots at FNC.
"The way I approach competition is the way my dad taught me to play little-league
baseball: I work real hard, I beat their brains out and you always treat the
competition respectfully," he said.
Paula Zahn, who defected from FNC in September, wants to focus on her
morning show competition. :These cable news wars are overblown," she said.
CNN executives also emphasized that the channel will remain heavy on international
news, even as the war on terrorism recedes.
"You can't just go in after the fact, after a city has been bombed," CNN president Eason
Jordan said via satellite from Baghdad, Iraq.
Turner Broadcasting System Inc. chairman Jamie Kellner pointed to the
recent openings of bureaus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Lagos, Nigeria, as proof of CNN's
continued commitment to foreign coverage.
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