The Financial Times reports that more than 40-plus senior journalists have just been laid off at CNN and its sister network, HLN. Most of the layoffs occurred in November, were concentrated in Washington, Atlanta, and New York, and, according to CNN, mostly involved those already closing in on retirement.
One person fired, however, was a pregnant producer just two weeks away from giving birth.
CNN claims that by the end of the year they will have actually increased the number of people working for them. A spokesperson told the Financial Times that around 100 new people will be added to the staff and that the network is not “abandoning news by any stretch of the imagination,” but merely “expanding the definition of news.” The Financial Times adds:
However, Mr Zucker’s moves have so far failed to lift CNN’s audiences in prime time, the crucial evening period when television networks generate most of their advertising revenue. The network continues to lag behind Fox News and recently hit a 20-year low in prime time ratings.
Nielsen revealed that CNN’s ratings for the key 25 to 54 year old demographic slumped last week to their lowest level since May 2012, with CNN averaging 78,000 viewers for the whole day and 98,000 in prime time.
CNN has been moving away from its brand and the standard definition of news for some time now, a move that thus far has resulted only in low ratings and the network becoming a punch-line.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC