February 9, 2023

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CNN begins layoffs in what CEO says will be a ‘gut punch’ to the network


New York
CNN Business enterprise
 — 

CNN on Wednesday informed staff that layoffs experienced commenced, a transfer that is predicted to impression hundreds of staffers at the world wide news community and mark the deepest cuts to the organization in several years.

Chris Licht, who took over as main government of the community in May, described the cuts in an all-staff members memo as a “gut punch” to the group and told workforce that “it is exceptionally challenging to say goodbye to any just one member of the CNN workforce, much significantly less quite a few.”

Staff members at the firm had been anxiously bracing for the layoffs considering the fact that Licht educated them final month that “unsettling” modifications lie forward.

Licht reported that on Wednesday the firm would notify a “limited amount of people today,” largely paid out contributors, that they have been permit go. He stated the business “will notify impacted employees” on Thursday. Licht said at the conclusion of the cuts he will “follow up with far more details.”

“It will be a challenging time for everybody,” Licht candidly explained in his memo.

CNN declined to say on Wednesday how several staff exactly would be impacted by the layoffs.

The layoffs occur as media corporations are remaining battered by brutal financial headwinds that have taken a bat to the advertising sector. Licht noted in October, when he signaled substantial cuts had been coming, that there is “widespread concern more than the world-wide economic outlook” and that CNN “must issue that risk into [its] lengthy-time period preparing.”

Other media corporations have also reduce prices as they perform to ideal placement on their own for the stormy financial local weather. Disney

(DIS)
reported last week the corporation necessary to restructure, and AMC Networks

(AMCX)
introduced Tuesday that it would slash 20% of its team. Social media organizations these types of as Fb

(FB)
-parent Meta, which also rely on marketing income, have also executed layoffs in new months.

CNN, which nonetheless posts earnings in the hundreds of hundreds of thousands of dollars, was spared from the cuts that wreaked havoc on the marketplace during the pandemic. Prior to this 12 months, the past significant cuts to manifest at the corporation were being in 2018 when fewer than 50 folks dropped their work opportunities as the corporation restructured its digital company.

The cuts to the firm also come immediately after CNN’s previous dad or mum enterprise, WarnerMedia, merged before this year with Discovery, producing a media juggernaut laced with billions of pounds in credit card debt and a have to have to slash costs across the board. The merger had just been concluded in April when the corporation declared it was shuttering streaming assistance CNN+ a month right after it was launched

David Zaslav, main govt of Warner Bros. Discovery, the enterprise that was fashioned when WarnerMedia and Discovery turned a person, has promised buyers that he will uncover more than $3 billion in personal savings in the blended firm.

Soon after Licht took around as head of CNN, he carried out a months-long overview of the organization. That evaluation led to him figuring out adjustments that ought to be manufactured, Licht reported in Oct. Some of those people changes have presently been carried out, as CNN has made lesser cuts to pieces of its business enterprise in the previous quite a few months.

Licht mentioned in his all-staff members memo on Wednesday that personnel afflicted by this week’s cuts will be notified “through an in-person assembly or through Zoom, relying on your place.”

“In these meetings, you will acquire facts specific to you about notice interval or any severance that would utilize, and your predicted very last working day,” Licht claimed. “I want to be crystal clear that all people who is bonus qualified will however receive their 2022 bonuses, which are determined by corporation general performance.”

Licht acknowledged that the cuts will “affect both equally our departing colleagues and those people who remain” and promised to give employees “resources developed to support” them.

“Let’s consider care of each individual other this week,” Licht stated.