CNN was all clicks and smiles Wednesday as it shared good digital news.
For the first time ever, CNN.com surpassed Yahoo.com in video starts. The network’s site also passed Yahoo in page views: CNN had 993 million compared to Yahoo’s 855 million (though Yahoo still had more unique visitors, 48 million vs. 41 million.)
FoxNews.com was third, The Huffington Post fourth and NYTimes.com fifth in page views.
Also read: CNN Digital Chief KC Estenson Out
“Bottom line … CNN.com is #1 in video, traffic and mobile!” network President Jeff Zucker wrote in a memo to staff.
Zucker also announced a Twitter surge for CNN: @CNNbrk reached 20 million followers.
Also read: Yahoo Third Quarter Beats Wall Street Expectations
“This is rare territory. No other news organization comes close,” he added. “The only other brands of any type with more followers are YouTube and Twitter itself. The other 25 accounts with more than 20 million followers are all individual celebrities. And, by the way, @CNN is not far behind. The nearly 15 million followers of @CNN make it the second-most followed news account on Twitter.”
Also read: Hollywood’s Anti-Zucker Campaign, CNN Tears, Katie Couric Fallout: 7 Revelations from Jeff Zucker NY Mag Profile
“Sharp digital programming of creative new video content across CNN.com’s mobile and desktop sites and also on CNNMoney.com played a huge part in our strong September performance,” Meredith Artley, VP and Managing Editor of CNN Digital, told TheWrap. “And the mix of news in September played straight to CNN’s promise to ‘go there’ — journalists covering ISIS, the Ferguson riots, the Scotland independence vote and more all produced unique stories for our digital audiences that drew audiences in via social, mobile and desktop.”
Last week, the network laid off around 150 employees as part of widespread cuts. Five shows were canceled: “Crossfire,” “Unguarded” with Rachel Nichols, “CNN Money” with Christine Romans, “Sanjay Gupta MD,” and HLN’s “Jane Velez-Mitchell.” The network also cut its entertainment unit, SVP of digital KC Estenson, Northeast Bureau Chief Darius Walker, and “New Day” executive producer Matt Frucci.
On “Reliable Sources” Sunday, host Brian Stelter addressed the “painful” cuts.
“There is some overall shrinking going on,” he said. “But the better word for what’s happening is reshaping — through layoffs, through cuts, through new investment. Reshaping for the digital future, that really feels more like the digital present.”