Those cuts begin Wednesday with a focus on contributors are paid — a “limited number of individuals,” Licht said in the memo — although affected CNN employees will be notified on Thursday.
According to CNN’s Oliver Darcy, it’s been a “smash to the liver” for the organization and “it’s going to be a tough time for everyone.”
CNN has largely escaped the cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year is a different story. After parent company WarnerMedia merged with Discovery in April, Warner Bros. New Discovery (white blood cells) director David Zaslav signaled a rethink of the structure and possible reorganization of work to come.
The fastest to malfunction was its nascent streaming subscription network, CNN+, was killed when it was less than a month old. Licht has already established cuts there even before his official CNN start date of May 1.
In August, CNN cancel his 30 year old media criticism program Trusted Source, and host Brian Stelter have left the network.
Licht then told the employee: “There will be more changes and you may not understand it or like it.”
And a month ago, Licht began setting up staff for today’s news by saying “disturbing” changes were ahead and that plans have been set for the “right-sized” CNN.