CNN announced Tuesday that it will shutter its airport network, a ubiquitous presence for airline travelers for three decades, citing the drop in passenger traffic brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
CNN President Jeff Zucker said in a statement that the “CNN Airport Network will end operations as of March 31.”
“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 for the CNN Airport Network,” said Mr. Zucker in a statement posted online by CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy.
Launched in January 1992, the 24-hour network aired primarily lifestyle and entertainment news along with headlines, business and sports in 60 U.S. airports, reaching more than 2,400 gates and 329 million annual viewers, according to CNN.
“Having to say good-bye to such a beloved brand is not easy,” Mr. Zucker said. “I want to thank our friends and colleagues who have contributed to its success and to celebrate the fact that for 30 years, the CNN Airport Network has kept millions of domestic travelers informed. It has also become an iconic part of the traveling experience in this country.”
U.S. airlines were hit with a 62% decline in traffic in October 2020 from October 2019, with the largest carriers hosting 29.9 million passengers versus 78.3 million the previous year, according to Transportation Department figures released last month.
The department said airlines reported a third-quarter after-tax loss of $11.8 billion, with the pre-tax loss of $15.9 billion, Reuters reported.
“I am sure most of us have a story to tell about which airport we were at when we first learned of a major news event,” said Mr. Zucker. “Be proud that we had a hand in sharing some incredible stories with many millions of people over the past three decades.”