CNN has cut more than 40 senior journalists as part of a reorganization of the business under new president Jeff Zucker, appointed at the end of 2012. The cutting of production and editorial staff at the Time Warner-owned group comes as Zucker tries to re-establish CNN’s ratings.
The job losses at CNN and HLN, its sister network, were concentrated in Washington, Atlanta and Los Angeles at the end of 2013, reports The UK Financial Times.
The cuts coincide with changes to the network’s programming. Zucker has hired presenters and diversified CNN’s output, adding documentary and reality series to its news coverage.
A CNN spokesperson told the paper, however, it would add about 100 people to its headcount this year, adding that the network was investing in journalism. “We’re expanding the definition of news,” she said. “We’re not abandoning news by any stretch of the imagination…there will be more people working at CNN today than last year.”
So far, Zucker’s moves have failed to lift CNN’s audiences in primetime and continues to lag behind Fox News and recently hit a 20-year low in primetime ratings.
CNN’s ratings in the 25-54 demo fell 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.
Some of the people laid off were close to retirement and had been with the news network since it launched 30 years ago, the story said.