Updated Nov 30, 2022 - Economy

CNN layoffs begin

Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

CNN boss Chris Licht on Wednesday informed employees that layoffs at the network are underway, according to an internal memo sent to staff.

Why it matters: The layoffs cap off what has been a particularly challenging year for the network and the media industry writ large.

Details: A source familiar with the cuts told Axios that "a couple hundred" people in total will be impacted.

  • In a note to staff, Licht said the network began notifying "a limited number of individuals, largely some of our paid contributors," about the layoffs.
  • Impacted employees, Licht said, would be notified tomorrow.
  • Licht said he planned to inform the staff about more details regarding staff changes tomorrow.
  • Those whose jobs are being impacted will be notified about the changes and severance packages via an in-person meeting or via Zoom. Employees eligible for 2022 bonuses will still receive them, Licht said.

Catch up quick: Licht took over as CEO in May following the sudden and dramatic resignation of CNN's former head Jeff Zucker in February.

  • The network faced a messy legal battle following Zucker's departure around the handling of its firing of Chris Cuomo.
  • Shortly after Licht announced he would take over, CNN's parent company Warner Bros. Discovery killed CNN's expensive streaming service, CNN+, which triggered hundreds of layoffs.

Warner Bros. Discovery seeks to continue cutting costs at CNN to pay off some of the debt from its merger earlier this year.

  • Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said earlier this month that the ad market is “weaker” now than at any point during the pandemic.

The big picture: The media industry is getting hit by sizable rounds of layoffs and cost-cutting measures as the ad market continues to show signs of a serious slowdown.

  • TV companies are particularly vulnerable, given the rise of cord-cutting, which has been accelerated by the pandemic.

Disclosure: The author of this story is a paid contributor to CNN.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details and to include the disclosure above.

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