Phase two of the Daily Show's CNN takeover is underway.
After announcing a Kickstarter campaign to buy CNN, host Jon Stewart has turned his attention to programming. The idea stemmed from his interview with Fareed Zakaria last week: "Your program, half an hour ... that's two hours of programming a week," Zakaria said. "CNN has 24 hours times seven, 168 hours."
So what should go in the remaining 166 hours of airtime every week? Stewart announced the hashtags #NewCNNShows, #NewCNNSlogans and #NewCNNTech to let viewers pitch their own ideas for "the most trusted name in news." And viewers obliged.
Anthony Bourdain: Planes Unknown #NewCNNshows— Miles Kahn (@mileskahn) March 24, 2014
If you're watching this, it's because the only remote to the employee lounge TV has been missing for months #NewCNNSlogans— Erin Jean Trimber (@TrimbyJean) July 30, 2014
"Nobody has one reporter interview another reporter better than we do" #NewCNNSlogans— Christopher Brown (@Cdbrow1) July 30, 2014
CNN Lego. Everything is awesome. #NewCNNTech— Michael Deery (@Mick_Legendeery) July 30, 2014
The background: While the Daily Show has raised a self-reported $4.34 trillion in its Kickstarter, CNN's for-sale status depends on News Corp. magnate Rupert Murdoch.
Murdoch is in the market for more media properties, and recently offered $80 million for Time Warner. The offer was refused, but Murdoch is still mulling coming back with an even better one.
If Murdoch's purchase were to be approved, it would mean likely mean a sale of CNN — the same person can't run two competing news channels (Fox News and CNN), no matter how much Murdoch might want to. As to where CNN might end up in that situation, it's too early to tell — though maybe Don Lemon's Zesty News Bowl would be just the ratings jolt the network needs.