News giant CNN announced Tuesday it will begin laying off hundreds of employees according to a Memo put out by CNN CEO Christ Licht.
“To my CNN colleagues, 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. I recently described this process as a gut punch, because I know that is how it feels for all of us.” Licht began.
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“Today we will notify a limited number of individuals, largely some of our paid contributors, as part of a recalibrated reporting strategy. Tomorrow, we will notify impacted employees, and tomorrow afternoon I will follow up with more details on these changes.”
Licht then discussed how the affected employees will find out about their standing with the company:
“It will be a difficult time for everyone. If your job has been impacted, you will learn more through an in-person meeting or via Zoom, depending on your location. In those meetings, you will receive information specific to you about notice period or any severance that would apply, and your anticipated last day.”
Licht has been cleaning house for some time. After all, wokester par excellence Brian Stelter was let go on Licht’s watch. And despite Stelter’s fondness for conspiracy theories, he did have a long and deeply-rooted history with the company
While Licht initially expressed hesitation about the prospect of mass layoffs, Licht appears to have warmed up to the idea. As the DC Enquirer reports:
“According to The Daily Mail, in spite of his June statement that ‘As it relates to CNN, there are no layoffs per se.’ Licht was matter-of-factly unapologetic telling his employees that ‘We have also begun to reduce or eliminate areas that aren’t core to our mission. All these moves are designed to keep CNN essential across platforms to ensure that wherever and however people get their news, they must have CNN,’ Licht wrote in a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. ‘There is a lot more to be done. I am writing to you today to say that over the next several weeks, that work will accelerate.’
While we hate to see mass layoffs in any form, it is clear CNN has to rethink its news strategy if it wants the public to take it seriously.