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CNN cuts 100 jobs, plans to launch paid streaming service



CNN cuts 100 jobs, plans to launch paid streaming service’s first subscription product would debut this year

Cable News Network's (CNN) Facebook cover.
Cable News Network’s (CNN) Facebook cover.

NEW YORK – Cable News Network’s (CNN) top leader announced 100 job cuts on Wednesday as well as a digital strategy that would include a new subscription-only digital offering by the end of the year.

The company is laying off around 100 people, or about 3% of its workforce. The layoffs would come “across the company,” Mark Thompson, the network’s chair, said in a memorandum to employees. CNN last had significant layoffs in late 2022.

Thompson announced the job cuts as the company began to unveil steps on a digital plan that he said would help the network “regain a leadership position in the news experiences of the future.”

Thompson, the former chief executive of The New York Times and a senior leader at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), has overseen CNN since October 2023. He has promised a more robust digital strategy as people flee traditional cable packages in favour of streaming entertainment.

CNN‘s ratings have plummeted over the last two years, more so than those of its primary competitors, Fox News and MSNBC. Additionally, CNN‘s parent, Warner Bros Discovery, has an enormous debt load, and its share price has fallen sharply this year.

CNN got a recent shot in the arm when it organised and broadcast the first presidential debate in late June, an event that continued to set off alarm bells within the Democratic Party about the future of US President Joe Biden’s campaign. CNN made the debate available for other outlets to broadcast, and it drew more than 50 million viewers overall. About 9.5 million of those watched on CNN.

Democratic presidential candidate US President Joe Biden listens as Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump speaks during their debate in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States, on June 27, 2024. (Photo: Reuters)

As part of the announcement on Wednesday, Thompson said’s “first subscription product” would debut later this year. He also said the company would create “a growing stable of ‘news you can use’ offerings” in lifestyle coverage. Additionally, he said the company would make a push into artificial intelligence.

Thompson laid out a reorganisation that would include merging three separate newsrooms (US news gathering, international news gathering and digital news) under one leader, Virginia Moseley. And on the prime-time television front, he has directed deputies to “increase audience competitiveness and also keep a close eye on production costs.”

“Turning a great news organisation toward the future is not a one-day affair,” Thompson wrote in a memo to employees. “It happens in stages and over time. Today’s announcements do not answer every question or seek to solve every challenge we face. However, they do represent a significant step forward.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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