CNN is preparing to lay off up to 50 employees mostly from its digital projects, after another ratings debacle for 2017 and a subsequent failure to reach expected ad revenue targets, a report says.
The news of the layoffs came from Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo, who reported on February 12 that CNN “is targeting big savings on the digital side” by shedding employees who work in the cabler’s “premium businesses including CNN Money, video, product, tech and social publishing.”
It appears that some of the initiatives that CNN chief Jeff Zucker has touted as the future of the network are being re-tooled and scaled back.
According to Pompeo:
Several high profile digital initiatives are being scaled back, including CNN’s virtual reality productions and its efforts on Snapchat, where CNN recently nixed a live daily webcast after just four months. CNN’s business-oriented MoneyStream app, as BuzzFeed reported earlier this month, is in the gutter as well. A team that works on the digital extensions of documentary-style TV shows, such as Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and Lisa Ling’s This is Life, as well as the Brooke Baldwin series American Woman, is also being reorganized.
Tucked down in the story, Pompeo related what some of those revenue losses look like saying, “CNN missed its target by tens of millions of dollars, according to a person with knowledge of the numbers…”
This news comes two months after the tabulations for cable news ratings were released for the 2017 cable TV season, numbers that showed CNN coming in third place behind extremist, left-wing network MSNBC.
For a cable news network that was once considered the top name in cable news to come in third behind the partisans at MSNBC must be particularly galling.
As Breitbart’s John Nolte reported in December, the 2017 review not only found that CNN had come in last place, but even its primetime viewership eroded by double digits. And this was as second place MSNBC’s ratings soared, and ratings champ Fox News held tight to its top cable news spot.
CNN was in third place in total daily viewers by nearly 100,000 viewers behind second place MSNBC.
- FNC: 1,501,000 (up eight percent)
- MSNBC: 885,000 (up 47 percent)
- CNN: 783,000 (up four percent)
Finally, it is clear that at present, ratings champ Fox News has nothing to fear from its competition. In 2017 Fox attracted almost as many viewers throughout the day as MSNBC and CNN combined. Fox News also doubled CNN’s growth (eight percent, compared to just four percent).
Under the leadership of Jeff Zucker, CNN has continued to struggle as the odd man out, commonly falling to last place in nearly every viewing hour.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.