The dismantling of CNN as the Democrats’ leading network could be on the way with layoffs and cutbacks putting the once-dominant media outlet in decline.
CNN began notifying staffers on Wednesday that there would be major layoffs of paid contributors and others “as part of a recalibrated reporting strategy,” according to a memo published by The Hollywood Reporter.
“It will be a difficult time for everyone,” CNN CEO Chris Licht wrote in the memo. “Our people are the heart and soul of this organization. It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many.”
The cable giant has long been the leading anti-Trump media outlet with a relentless attack on the former president even after he left office. During Trump’s presidency, CNN reveled in being part of the “resistance” and saw its ratings jump.
But lately the network’s ratings have lagged behind Fox News and even MSNBC. Now that’s embarrassing.
The anti-Trump fervor could change with the new owner, Warner Bros. Discovery, whose CEO has indicated he wants more of a balance at the station.
Trump-hating media reporter Brian Stelter, legal reporter Jeffrey Toobin and left-leaning White House correspondent John Harwood have already departed the network and more will be leaving soon.
Licht described the changes as a “gut punch” and said the network would begin informing employees tomorrow of the layoffs.
“Let’s take care of each other this week,” Licht wrote.
The layoffs are not a surprise – they have been planned for months as part of CNN’s effort to restructure and vastly reduce spending.
Most of the network’s leading anchors will not be affected by the cuts yet, according to the New York Times.
But the network plans to slash about $100 million in spending which undoubtedly will affect the news gathering operations.
Licht earlier this year cut CNN’s original programming and documentaries” and killed the cable network’s streaming service after just weeks.
One network insider told Fox News that “morale is as low as it’s ever been” though staffers who are laid off will get severance.
What the “recalibrated reporting strategy” means is unclear, but that could signal CNN will have less paid Democratic talking heads.
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