CNN announces 100 job cuts in strategic operations overhaul

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11th July 2024 – (Atlanta) CNN Worldwide has announced the reduction of approximately 100 positions, a move aimed at consolidating its news operations and enhancing its digital offerings. This initiative was outlined in an internal memo delivered by CEO Mark Thompson, and accessed by Reuters yesterday.

As part of this restructuring, CNN intends to merge its news-gathering units with its digital news teams, a strategy that also includes substantial investments in video operations and the introduction of pay-per-view news products. “We are building a billion-dollar-plus digital business of the future,” Thompson articulated in the memo.

This adjustment will affect around 100 employees from CNN’s global workforce, which currently stands at 3,500. Thompson, who ascended to CNN’s helm in October of the previous year after tenures at the New York Times and BBC, is steering the network towards a more streamlined operation and augmented revenue streams, in response to the decline in traditional TV viewership.

Further expanding its digital horizon, CNN plans to unveil a standalone subscription service for CNN.com by year’s end, marking the first in a series of subscription models. Future offerings will include thematic focuses such as lifestyle and feature content.

In addition, the establishment of the TV Future Lab will see CNN developing content specifically for the Max streaming service, while also repackaging existing TV materials for digital platforms. This initiative follows CNN’s integration into the streaming sphere via Max last year, under the umbrella of parent company Warner Bros Discovery.

Thompson’s memo also highlighted several editorial changes, such as a centralised planning and pitching process and the introduction of a “story manager” role to oversee the lifecycle of a story from inception to publication or broadcast.

The comprehensive strategy and forthcoming adjustments will be further discussed in a town hall meeting scheduled for Wednesday, as per the details shared in the memo.