Remember, Ratigan was the Global Managing Editor for Corporate Finance at Bloomberg. He was the co-creator of the best performing show on CNBC, Fast Money. Most people think of him as a host but he also has a ton of experience running a news operation. And he even won the Gerald Loeb Award for 2004 coverage of the Enron scandal.
I've always thought Dylan was the best candidate to run CNN, even when we were together at MSNBC. Why? Because CNN is stuck in what seems to be an unwinnable quandary. And he is the only one that can address what they need to get out of that predicament. CNN has said over and over again that they will not do perspective programming that the other cable news outlets are doing but at the same time they're getting killed because their programming is so vanilla. That seems like an intractable problem - but it isn't. There is an answer.
The answer is exactly the kind of journalism that Dylan Ratigan does. Take on the power establishment. Take on government. Go back to old school journalism. Go back to being watchdogs. What's great about Ratigan is that he doesn't give a damn about the political parties. He can teach CNN how to do aggressive journalism without being partisan.
This is the only way that they can remain non-partisan and still do interesting, challenging programming. Or they can go back to the same old formula of neutrality and boring vanilla programming that tries really hard not to rock the boat. And they will buy themselves a one way ticket to oblivion.
When's the last time CNN broke an important story or really made the government angry? I literally can't remember. That's because they're built to be inoffensive. They do the opposite of watchdog journalism. They simply pass on the government's message to their audience. Gee, I wonder why everyone has stopped watching.
Ratigan would get in the government's face and create a stir. You don't need perspective or bias to be interesting, but you do need a pulse. This blog is probably a fool's errand because non-challenging, corporate-sponsored, government-approved propaganda is probably in CNN's DNA at this point. But if by some odd chance that it isn't and they are actually ready to go on a new path, Ratigan would be the perfect guy to take them in that direction.