Posted: 4:15 pm Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

CNN drops 40 journalists but plans to add more 

By Rodney Ho

Jeff Zucker just passed his first-year anniversary as president of CNN.

Jeff Zucker just passed his first-year anniversary as president of CNN.

The Financial Times Thursday reported that CNN laid off 40 journalists – many in senior positions – late last year as part of a reorganization.

A CNN spokeswoman did not dispute the FT story, simply saying it was “old news” and noting that the website TVNewser had mentioned changes in early November. The TVNewser story did not specify how many people were leaving. She also didn’t say how many of the cuts were made in Atlanta, where about half of CNN’s employees are based.

CNN told the FT it plans to add 100 people to its headcount of about 4,000 employees this year, though she wasn’t specific if they’d all be in the newsroom.

A former employee told me that many senior staffers were given a choice of a pay cut or a severance package. Several took the severance package.

Jeff Zucker has been president of CNN for a year. He has made some moves, including the return of “Crossfire,” a new morning show and greater use of documentaries created by outside companies. The network has been airing more entertainment-related specials recently including an hour about Amy Poehler and Tiny Fey before their hosting gig on the Golden Globes earlier this month.

He has told media outlets recently that more changes are coming, especially during prime time. He is also seeking more programming like the Emmy-winning “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” which was created under his predecessor Jim Walton.

Ratings have improved at times, but a fallow period in the news recently has led to weaker ratings, including a 20-year low in primetime ratings earlier this month.

2 comments
Carolyn1931
Carolyn1931

Jeff Zucker isn't as good a judge of what CNN viewers want as he thinks he is.  Made a huge mistake firing Ali Velshi, he is doing a great job at Al Jazeera give us much more solid background and understanding of economic situation than he was ever allowed to do on CNN.

Maybe Mr. Zucker should go back to the archives in NBC and study their White Paper" series back in the 50s or something like that. 

He should get rid of anchors that are snarky, snipey and gossip oh no! Won't name them he should know if he watches his own channel and wants to know the truth about what is happening in the world today.

I've had to quit SOTU - too much criticism of PBO, Guess Mr. Zucker wasn't on earth when some of the past presidents were not up to the standards that President Obama exhibits DAILY !! If he doesn't want to lose anymore viewers, then he should show more respect for The Office of the President in the USA.

Mr. Zucker allows to much hoopla about the GOP and Tea Party - doesn't he know that to make a child or young person stop misbehavior - one gives LESS attention, rather than more attention.

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

Remember we are on this planet for a short time and do not want to spend our precious hours watching drivel - hope I spelled that correctly !!

Carolyn Neuman

TheLazyComic
TheLazyComic

I don't care what anybody says... the man looks like Homer Simpson. Randy, The Lazy Comic.