Cartoon Brew has had a number of posts on Cartoon Network's insane decision to show old live-action movies and TV shows (because, after all, where else can you go to see "Saved By the Bell?"). The collapse of Cartoon Network reminds me a lot of the slow implosion of the American Movie Classics channel, which started out showing uncut, commercial-free old movies -- then, gradually but inexorably, added commercials, newer movies, and other things that turned it into a channel with no real identity at all. That's what's happened to the Cartoon Network: by phasing out most of the cartoons they'd been showing -- classic cartoons, Hanna-Barbera cartoons that don't contain the word "Scooby" -- they sort of guaranteed that they'd eventually wind up catering to an audience that doesn't even like cartoons.
I should add that it seems to me that Cartoon Network and CNN both seemed to jump the shark around the time Ted Turner stopped being involved with them. (Though Turner Classic Movies seems to have retained its identity, at least for now.) Turner has his eccentricities, and he did give us that "Captain Planet" thing, but he does seem to like good cartoons -- he was the one who had the Cartoon Network buy the rights to broadcast Freakazoid!
In Canada, by the way, we've never had to suffer through a cartoon channel going down the tubes like this, because our cartoon channel, Teletoon, was mediocre right from the beginning. Teletoon would never show a cartoon made before the '80s, and when they finally gave in and purchased the rights to some Looney Tunes cartoons, they bought the "Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show" package that ABC used to show -- meaning that they were showing edited-for-Saturday-morning cartoons in prime time.