CNN has laid off more than 40 senior journalists as part of a reorganisation of its business by the company's president, Jeff Zucker, reports the Financial Times.The Guardian is blogging a report from the Financial Times, which is apparently behind a paywall.
Zucker is trying to regain CNN's 24-hour cable news leadership from the Fox News channel. He has made a number of changes to the network's programming, including new presenters.
CNN recently hit a 20-year low in prime time ratings in the United States, attracting an average of just 78,000 viewers across the whole day and 98,000 in prime time.
From Mediaite is an assertion that 'many' of these reporters were nearing retirement "anyway".
According to the Financial Times, CNN let go of more than forty senior journalists at the end of the year, with about half coming from sister network HLN, which Mediaite reported in November. CNN stressed that many of the employees, who worked in the Washington, Atlanta and Los Angeles officers, were close to retirement.Apparently Zucker is in the middle of
a redefinition of the network to include entertainment shows, documentary features, and more."Expanding the definition of news".
“We’re expanding the definition of news,” a network spokesperson told FT’s Matthew Garrahan. “We’re not abandoning news by any stretch of the imagination…there will be more people working at CNN today than last year.”
As I no longer trust rich and powerful people to do do anything beneficial for you and me, I'll just venture to say "expanding the definition of news" will replace "Fair and Balanced" as the Butt of Many Jokes, and may even become its own meme. "I am not lying, mom: I am expanding the definition of homework".
But, hey! jobs will be created
The cuts “coincide with changes to the network’s programming,” Garrahan writes. CNN President Jeff Zucker “has hired new presenters and diversified CNN’s output, adding documentary and reality series to its traditional live news coverage.”Apparently about 100 new people are being hired.
"Adding reality series" reinforces my earlier concern that 'expanding the definition of news' won't be as functional as it might sound and really means "gibberish sells in America".
The daily entertainment show “Showbiz Tonight” on sister network HLN was apparently not affected by the layoffs. On Monday, HLN announced that “Showbiz Tonight” would take up three hours of the network’s weekday real estate, with a live one hour show at 6 p.m. and reruns at noon and 11 p.m.America needs another entertainment news program about as much as a condom needs sand.
TVNewser reported layoffs in LA, NY and Atlanta on Friday, with a dozen people let go, who would be replaced by new blood.
But, if it gets Wolf Blitzer and his jackhammer staccato monotone off the air, it won't be all bad.