Due to the decline in airport traffic, the CNN Airport Network will not be shown across the US airports. The channel will end its operations on March 31, 2021.
CNN is shutting down its broadcast in over 50 airports across the United States, announced the channel’s president Jeff Zucker. The decision was made as passenger traffic has declined due to the pandemic and the news streaming on phones and laptops has been on the rise.
“The steep decline in airport traffic because of COVID-19, coupled with all of the new ways that people are consuming content on their personal devices, has lessened the need for the CNN Airport Network and we had to make the very difficult decision to end its operation,” the channel’s owner AT&T was quoted saying in a statement.
The channel started broadcasting in US airports in the 1990s. CNN Airport Network was shown on 2,400 screens in 60 airports across the US and Bermuda and reached 323 million viewers, according to the 2018 CNN Airport media kit.
The program was tailored to the travelers and did not include sensitive coverage, including air crashes and violent content. The exposure to international travelers helped CNN to create its name as a global news outlet, commented Zucker. “It also became an iconic part of the traveling experience in this country,” he added.
However, high expenses and costs, estimated at around $150,000 a year at a single large airport, combined with the decrease of reach, led to the decision of cutting the long-running network.