CNN lays off hundreds of staffers − read the memo

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Hundreds of CNN employees were given furlough notices Thursday as part of CEO Chris Licht’s efforts to transform the cable news network.

CNN had about 4,400 employees. The layoffs affected hundreds of staff, but reached “single-digit percentages” of staff, according to a person familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Only about 400 employees were employed.

Licht sent a memo to all staff on Thursday afternoon after the news was delivered to employees, including longtime HLN anchor Robin Meade and a reporter. Chris SyrizaLicht wrote in a memo that he would hold a town hall next week to answer questions.

Licht’s cut is part of a broader effort at CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery. Reduce costs for 2023.

December 1, 2022

To my CNN colleagues,

As promised in yesterday’s memo, we’re following up with an overview of the changes we’ve made across the company. Our goals throughout the strategic review process are to better align our people, processes, and resources to future priorities, to strengthen our ability to deliver on CNN’s core journalism mission, and to to enable innovation in Our highest-level goal is to direct our resources to best serve and grow our primary news programming and product audiences.

To achieve these goals, we are reducing open positions, reimagining workflows, aligning staffing and investments, and focusing on three key strategic priorities: programming, news gathering and digital. increase. Every decision is designed to strengthen the core of our business.

We can’t keep track of all the roles affected by emails like this, but we’d like to explain the broader changes we’re making.


After December 6, CNN will no longer produce live programming for HLN, instead simulcasting CNN This Morning. HLN Crime programming will move under her WBD Networks led by Kathleen Finch and will be integrated with ID. I would like to thank Robin Mead. Not only is she a hugely popular anchor, she’s also one of the longest-running Morning Her hosts in history. The HLN audience will miss her and her other HLN talents.

CNN International

CNN International is reorganizing some of its teams and bureaus, and its 5:00-5:30pm ET show will be replaced with its 30-minute CNN US simulcast.

CNN Spanish

CNNE’s linear network aims to expand its audience by diversifying the network’s programming beyond news. Over the next year he will continue to work on developing a much more robust digital platform for CNNE, aiming to launch in 2024, continuing to make news for CNNE. We believe that the investment will be more effective and will grow Spanish significantly. We plan to share more information in 2023.

US news gathering

We are restructuring in several areas, realigning our resources to staff some units and more regions across the country. This helps us achieve our goal of broader coverage of the United States. Much of Newsgathering’s staff reductions will be offset by the addition of new roles to best serve its audience across the platform.


We are also changing our approach to paid contributors. In some areas, we rely more on CNN journalists. Overall, we engage contributors who are subject matter experts to broaden and diversify the perspectives they bring to our audience.


Our programming team will cut some of our show staff and possibly consolidate our daytime and weekend line-up teams.

creative marketing

The creative marketing team will reduce overall size, reorganize around in-house production, and consolidate creative and strategic roles in New York. Additional roles will be added to support functionality and scale digital and growth marketing efforts.


Research is being reorganized to focus resources on CNN’s core business and optimize its recently integrated digital analytics and data science team.


The operations team is reorganizing in line with changes to other departments across the organization.

CNN Digital

CNN Digital ran the exercise earlier this fall to make sure it’s well-structured for the future. They have since made changes and as a result have no further impact on this process.

The changes we are making today are necessary and will make us stronger and better positioned to take big bets without fear of failure.

To my retiring colleagues, I want to thank you for your dedication and tireless service and your many contributions to CNN. I want to emphasize to all employees the importance of taking the time they need to do their best and move forward. Here you can find resources to support you. I will open city hall on Tuesday and answer your questions. Questions can be submitted anonymously here.

I am proud of the CNN team and together we will ensure that CNN remains the most important source of news and information in the world.


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