Tags: cnn | media | ratings | layoffs

Struggling CNN Fires More Than 40 Editorial Staffers

Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 02:27 PM

By Melissa Clyne

CNN gave pink slips to more than 40 journalists last month as the struggling cable network seeks to restructure its news operations, The Financial Times reports.

Among those let go was a 10-year employee, a producer who was two weeks away from delivering twins. The majority of the layoffs were in the Washington, Los Angeles and Atlanta bureaus.

CEO Jeff Zucker, who came to the network a year ago from NBC, is instituting changes to the programming lineup, adding more entertainment specials and documentary reality series, such as celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s show and the upcoming Chicagoland, a political reality series.

“The network reboot got off to a strong start with an injection of fresh on-air talent, new morning show “New Day” and the relaunch of “Crossfire,” but those shows are struggling in the ratings,” The Wrap reported in November, noting that in late October, the network garnered its lowest primetime ratings since Zucker took the helm.

Zucker wants to return CNN to its glory days as a dominant force in 24-hour cable news, according to the Financial Times. Fox News overtook CNN several years back.

A CNN spokeswoman declined to comment on the layoffs but said the network would add about 100 employees to its ranks this year.

“We’re expanding the definition of news,” the unidentified spokeswoman told the publication. “We’re not abandoning news by any stretch of the imagination … there will be more people working at CNN today than last year.”

Nielsen ratings show that the 25-to-54-year-old demographic, most coveted by advertisers, is increasingly tuning in elsewhere. Last week, the network averaged just 78,000 viewers for the whole day, and 98,000 in prime time, its lowest level since May 2012.

Earlier this month, CNN circulated a news release announcing that while it still lagged behind Fox News, the network overtook MSNBC to be the second most-watched cable news outlet in 2013.

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