New CNN chief Walter Isaacson, concerned with sagging ratings and the success of competitor Fox News Channel, is seeking advice from conservative political figures in Washington and has approached radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh about developing a show on the cable news network.

Limbaugh has told his radio audience that he is “listening” to offers from CNN.

Isaacson recently met with House and Senate GOP leaders – including Speaker Dennis Hastert, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and House GOP Conference Chairman J.C. Watts. He also confirmed in a Roll Call report last week that he reached out to senior White House officials.

Isaacson is the former editorial director of Time Inc.

An average of 140,000 people were watching Fox News at any given time between Jan. 1 and Aug. 1, 2000, according to Nielsen Media Research. During the same time period this year, 282,000 people were tuned into Fox News. In contrast, 308,000 viewers watched CNN between Jan. 1 and Aug. 1, 2000. During the first seven months of 2001, viewership climbed to 321,000. CNN is seen in 82 million homes, while Fox News is available in 67 million homes, according to Nielsen.

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