Forget the new terminal, aviation authorities could do the Kansas City region a service if it put some other network on its TVs other than CNN. KCI shows CNN all the time largely because CNN comes without charge, allows six minutes an hour for local announcements, and has, until now, stirred no backlash.
This service, launched in 1992, is called the CNN Airport Network. As of this writing, the network airs at roughly 2,000 gates in 47 of America’s leading airports. The network shows CNN or its sister station HLN all day and all night every day.
This was not necessarily a problem when CNN Airport Network was launched in 1992. At the time, CNN at least feigned objectivity. Long ago CNN gave up even faking. Earlier in 2017, the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard analyzed the political leanings of the various networks. What researchers discovered was that in the first 100 days of the Trump presidency–the traditional “honeymoon” period–93 percent of CNN’s Trump coverage was negative.
KCI largely services the states of Kansas and Missouri, each of which gave Trump at least a 19 percent margin of victory over Hillary Clinton. If given an option, most of those waiting for a plane would prefer Fox News to CNN. We suspect most would prefer anything to CNN. For a healthy percentage, CNN is pure torture especially on a weekend like the one just past. If KCI officials were paying attention, they would see people in the waiting areas move as far away from the TV as possible.
Most airports do not have much of a choice at least in the near future. CNN installed their television infrastructure, and the airports are contractually obliged to air the CNN Airport Network. KCI installed its own TVs. The waiting areas show CNN because no one has told the KCI brass not to.
If airport officials hope to convince area residents that they really do want to provide the best possible airport, they would start by getting rid of CNN.