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Warner Media CEO Kilar apologizes for saying COVID coverage has been 'really good' for CNN

"I wish I could go back and be more thoughtful about my communication," Kilar said.

Updated: March 5, 2021 - 1:02pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Warner Media CEO Jason Kilar is apologizing for saying coronavirus pandemic coverage for company-owned CNN has been "really good for ratings."

"If you take a look at the ratings and the performance, it's going well," Kilar said Thursday at a virtual conference at Morgan and Stanley. "And I think it's going well because A: the team at CNN is doing a fantastic job. And B: it turns out the pandemic and the way we can help inform and contextualize the pandemic. It turns out it has been really good for ratings."

His comments sparked immediate social media backlash, including a tweet from Wall Street Journal media reporter Joe Flint.

"Careful," Flint tweeted. "That’s awful close to Moonves line that Trump may be bad for U.S., but he’s good for CBS."

"I agree Joe," Kilar responded. "I would like nothing more than for this pandemic to be well behind us. I mean that with every fiber in my body.  I wish I could go back and be more thoughtful about my communication."

Kilar's comments come after more than 500,000 people in the U.S. have died since last March of complications from the virus. 

 

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