March 5, 2015 Last Updated 7:47 am

CNN updates apps for iPhone and iPad, Sports section now powered by Bleacher Report

CNN adds sports content from the web property acquired Turner Broadcasting System in 2012 – whether that is a good thing probably depends on your age

The cable news channel that once had a good reputation for news, CNN, today updated its iOS apps, fixing bugs and the like.

I dutifully updated the CNN App for iPad but noticed that it was not installed on my iPad. You see I manage my apps on my Mac so that I can access to far more apps than could be installed on any one device, in this way I know when apps get updates. I was somewhat surprised that there was no CNN app in my News folder, but once reinstalled I immediately remembered why I had deleted it.

CNN-iPad-BRWhen the app first opens it asks you if it is OK that the app knows your location, and obvious thing for a national news app to ask since it wants to deliver relevant news. It then reminds you that the “This is CNN” voice opening is off by default and how to turn it back on. How silly. Finally, it delivers a notice that CNN’s privacy policies had changed and that you can read them somewhere online.

By this point, I was already contemplating deleting the app, but needed screenshots for any possible update story (this one).

The app description says that the update is to fix bugs, but it also mentions the Sports section is now powered by Bleacher Report. The app update doesn’t introduce this, they are just mentioning it in the app description as if this is a good thing. It’s not. (I checked the iPhone app before it was updated and the Bleacher Report content is there, too, so it’s not tied to the update in any way.)

I suppose Bleacher Report is a perfect fit for CNN as it can be as annoyingly lightweight and childish as the news network is itself.

BR-screen-1Launched in 2007 by four friends from Atherton, an enormously wealthy town on the Peninsula south of San Francisco, Bleacher Report was acquired by Turner Broadcasting System in 2012, no doubt making the founders even more wealthy. Bleacher Report is a very nice sports website for teenagers who think taking pictures of two different athletes and mashing them together into a new photo is both fun stuff and serious sports journalism. That Time Warner, the parent of Turner, would want to own the web property is somewhat understandable – after all, traditional media firms tend to try to buy into markets rather than launch new products (and Time Warner had to be the perfect buyer, after all, it thought merging with AOL was a good idea).

Turner owns Bleacher Report, and Turner owns CNN. It is like the owner of the football team that spends a fortune to acquire a quarterback that turns out to be a bust. The team has a choice of playing the guy or admitting it made a mistake and benching the bum. Most owners will insist the coach play the quarterback… and then wait for the contract to run out.

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