A ‘gut punch’ is what Chris Licht, CEO, CNN rightly described the announcement of layoff plans as. Licht recently sent a memo to the employees on 30 November, describing how difficult a decision it was to let go many of the team members.
Owned by Warner Bros Discovery, CNN will inform the affected employees including paid contributors this week, and has assured all possible support to the impacted staff. The details of their severance package and notice period will also be discussed with the impacted employees personally, or on a Zoom call. The impacted employees will also receive the bonuses that they were eligible for.
This downsizing does not really come as a shock because CNN had reportedly warned its staff in October itself to prepare for job cuts. The exact number of employees to be asked to leave is yet to be officially revealed. However, the paid contributors of the US news channel will be most affected.
The main reason behind the decision to downsize is the bleak economic outlook worldwide, and mounting fears of a recession, which is affecting ad sales. The job cuts had to be resorted to in order to safeguard the interests of the media channel in the long term.
The last time CNN resorted to layoffs was back in 2018, when only about 50 people had been impacted amidst a rehaul of the media firm’s digital business.