CNN Lets Loose on Licht-Led Layoffs

CNN chief Chris Licht
(Image credit: CBS)

CNN laid off an unspecified number of paid contributors on Wednesday. And in a staff memo, network CEO Chris Licht told full time CNN employees they'll be informed of their ongoing status on Thursday. 

“It will be a difficult time for everyone,” Licht wrote ... 26 days before Christmas. 

“Our people are the heart and soul of this organization,” he added. “It is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many. I recently described this process as a gut punch, because I know that is how it feels for all of us.” 

CNN audience performance has been down significantly since the 2020 election cycle. On midterm Tuesday earlier this month, the linear CNN's ratings lagged in prime time behind not just perennial ratings ass-kicker Fox News, but also traditional No. 3 cable news channel MSNBC. 

But this latest round of expected cuts are part of a larger "synergies" target set forth by recently merged parent company Warner Bros. Discovery. CEO David Zaslav told investors earlier this month that WBD is expanding its cost-savings target from $3 billion to $3.5 billion -- a pleasing proposition for company stock holders forlorn over WBD's $614 billion Q3 EBITDA loss on direct-to-consumer services.

As per usual, CNN staff and TMT pundits turned to our newly declared collective town square, a safe haven for free speech, to comment on Licht's memo:

(Image credit: Twitter)

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!