After notching its worst monthly ratings in years last month, CNN’s parade of job cuts – once dismissed by a senior executive as a “crazy rumor” – is continuing with ‘substantial’ cuts to its London-based TV News operation, the Guardian reports.
CNN President Jeff Zucker reportedly made the announcement at a company “town hall” meeting on Tuesday held at CNN’s office in central London.
CNN’s prime-time ratings dropped 26% in April – the worst month for total viewers since October 2015, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Staff were reportedly given zero advance warning of the layoffs, even those whose shows will be impacted. The cuts notably follow the unexpected announcement that CNN International boss Tony Maddox would be leaving.
The upshot: CNN International viewers will be exposed to less material produced in London, with the total to be cut by 90 minutes per day. London-based shows like CNN Talk will be cut completely as the UK office pivots to focusing on CNN’s website.
So, how will CNN fill the news hole left by these cuts? The Guardian says CNN International will accomplish this by – surprise, surprise – importing more content from its American mothership.
This means more international viewers will be subjected to antagonistic coverage of the Trump Administration and conspiracies about collusion and obstruction, all regular features of CNN’s coverage in the states.
CNN tried to spin the cuts as shifting jobs from London to Atlanta, though few of the impacted employees will likely be able to relocate to a different continent
A spokesperson for the channel said: “In the coming months, CNN International will be consolidating key parts of its production model centrally in Atlanta, in much the same way as we currently do with large parts of our programming for CNN US. This means that some jobs will shift from London to Atlanta, but overall headcount will be unchanged.”
Some of the gap will also be filled by “extra repeats of the flagship Christiane Amanpour programme,” the Guardian reports.
The cuts are the latest in a wave of staff reductions following the AT&T-Time Warner tie-up. And now that the Russia collusion narrative has been tentatively put to bed (though that could change depending on what Mueller says today), we imagine the channel’s ratings will only continue to slump.