CNN is laying off employees this week due to network changes
- December 2, 2022
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CNN plans to lay off an undisclosed number of employees Thursday as the network grapples with reduced ad revenue and a looming recession.
In a Wednesday email to employees obtained by CBS MoneyWatch, CEO Chris Licht said this week’s cuts “will be a difficult time for everyone.” Some CNN staffers – experts who are on the air part-time to discuss specific topics such as medicine or law – were fired on Wednesday, CNN reported. The outlet reported the moves were expected to affect “hundreds of employees.”
Licht said the cuts are part of a “recalibrated reporting strategy”. He called it “a gut punch” that will “affect both our departing colleagues and those who stay.”
“Let’s take care of each other this week,” he said.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. The network has about 4,000 employees, according to its website. This week marks CNN’s first significant job cuts since 2018, when the network cut fewer than 50 jobs in digital news.
The cuts come eight months after CNN’s parent company, Warner Media, merged with Discovery. CEO David Zaslav told investors last month that CNN layoffs and other cost-cutting measures will save Warner Bros Discovery between $3 billion and $3.5 billion. Warner Bros Discovery also owns Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies.
This year has been quite a rollercoaster ride for CNN, which began 2022 with the firing of longtime anchor Chris Cuomo. In February, former CNN President Jeff Zucker resigned after failing to disclose a consensual relationship with a colleague.
In the spring, anchor Don Lemon was charged with sexual assault, but that case was later dropped by the prosecutor. While this was happening, CNN launched its digital streaming service, CNN+, and then immediately tore it down for not gaining enough subscribers.
Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against CNN in October, alleging the network had tarnished its reputation with “false, defamatory, and inflammatory mischaracterizations” and that CNN’s conduct “intended to interfere.” [his] political career.”
Sharp falls in ad revenue have continued to plague media companies this year, and CNN isn’t the only newsroom to face layoffs.
The Washington Post announced Wednesday that it would stop printing its Sunday magazine and eliminate 10 jobs related to the publication. Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper publisher, plans to cut 6% of its 3,440 news workers, USA Today reported. The latest cuts follow an earlier round of layoffs that saw Gannett cut 400 jobs in August.
Christopher J Brooks