Today’s news of a coming bloodbath at CNN and HLN is a reminder that while CNN has been able to use the unrest in Ferguson to race-bait its way to better ratings, everyone knows that’s temporary. Without something that allows the left-wing network to appeal to the lowest common denominator, CNN is almost certain to fall back into the ratings basement until something else comes along for the network to cynically exploit. So here come the layoffs and buyouts.
In the headline, The Wrap describes these layoffs as “imminent‘:
Some 550 buyouts are to be offered at Time Warner’s Turner network this week, including a large number of those at CNN and HLN, which will lead to layoffs if they are not taken voluntarily, according to an individual with knowledge of the network’s plans.
The buyouts will come across the Turner division, with a couple of hundred expected at CNN and HLN, the individual said.
A CNN spokeswoman had no immediate comment. …
HLN has been struggling in the ratings, regularly finishing fourth in total viewers and in primetime across the key cable news demo, viewers 25-54. It did edge out MSNBC in the demo across a total day measurement in 2014’s second quarter.
CNN’s ratings have been doing well during times of big, national breaking news — but the cable news net regularly ranks far behind Fox News and battles with MSNBC probably more than it would prefer.
This fits with a report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution Monday that CNN chief Jeff Zucker is preparing staffers for the bloodletting:
CNN chief Jeff Zucker recently shared not so encouraging words with some of the news operation’s employees, many of whom have been bracing for potential jobs cuts.
“We are going to do less and have to do it with less,” Zucker said during a call-in to a news meeting Tuesday morning. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently received a partial transcript of the call from a Turner employee who asked not to be identified.
Hopefully these 550 staffers who are about to be out of a job didn’t get all their news from CNN. If they did, they are about to be very surprised to discover what Obama’s “recovery” really looks like.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC