“It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many. I recently described this process as a gut punch, because I know that is how it feels for all of us.”
In recent weeks, CNN CEO Chris Licht warned people at the ratings-challenged network that layoffs were coming. That time has arrived, and the cuts have begun.
The Hollywood Reporter has the story:
Layoffs Begin at CNN Amid Warner Bros. Discovery Cost-Cutting Plan
Cable news giant CNN will be hit by layoffs Wednesday and Thursday, part of continued cost-cutting by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, which is trying to integrate the legacy WarnerMedia businesses (like CNN) and the Discovery businesses.
In a memo Wednesday morning, CNN CEO Chris Licht wrote that the channel will inform paid contributors Wednesday as part of a new reporting strategy, with full-time employees being informed of their status on Thursday.
“It will be a difficult time for everyone,” Licht wrote.
“Our people are the heart and soul of this organization,” the executive added. “It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many. I recently described this process as a gut punch, because I know that is how it feels for all of us.”
The cuts are not a surprise, with Licht warning employees in late October that the news division would be undergoing a restructuring, citing “widespread concern over the global economic outlook.”
But they do come amid decreasing morale at CNN, which has already seen significant turnover this year since the Discovery merger. One of the first moves made after the merger closed was to shut down the CNN+ streaming service, laying off a couple hundred employees in the process.
According to Mediaite, paid, on-air contributors were first:
CNN Begins Laying Off Hundreds of Employees, Targeting On-Air Contributors First
CNN Chief Chris Licht announced that the network will start making layoffs as part of his budget cut strategy, and it is expected to target hundreds of CNN employees.
Oliver Darcy, CNN’s senior media reporter, released a letter that Licht sent out to the entire company on Wednesday. In it, Licht announced that the first round of layoffs will impact the network’s paid contributors, and the network’s remaining staff would be informed of these changes tomorrow.
CNN boss Chris Licht informs employees in an all-staff note that layoffs are underway.
Licht says those being notified today are largely paid contributors and then tomorrow CNN "will notify impacted employees."
Licht will then provide an update to staff afterward. pic.twitter.com/nD0pt9Ruwj
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 30, 2022
On Thursday, more cuts came, including Chris Cillizza.
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) December 1, 2022
The Hill reports:
Chris Cillizza, HLN live programing among CNN cuts: reports
Journalist Chris Cillizza and a number of staffers at HLN are among the employees affected by sweeping layoffs and job cuts being implemented by CNN this week, according to multiple reports.
Cillizza, a former Washington Post reporter who wrote a blog on politics for CNN.com and appeared frequently on the channel’s various shows to give political analysis, was laid off on Thursday, Variety first reported.
The outlet reported CNN correspondents Alison Kosik, Martin Savidge, Alex Field and Mary Ann Fox were also let go this week.
My time at CNN was an absolute blast.
I got to work with smart and dedicated journalists every day.
I'm sad it's at an end but also excited about what the future holds for me.
— Chris Cillizza (@ChrisCillizza) December 1, 2022
On a related note, CNN’s Don Lemon recently appeared on the Colbert show and claimed that CNN is not liberal.
Colbert: "The word on the street is you guys aren't allowed to be liberal anymore"
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 30, 2022
It’s a real mystery why CNN is struggling for ratings and revenue.DONATE
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