Breaking: Layoff notices are being handed out across CNN/U.S. today. Photographers, editors and other staffers in Atlanta, New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles and Miami are being let go. In all, at least 50 positions are being eliminated. As many as 12 staffers in the Washington, DC bureau alone, four of whom are longtime photojournalists.
CNN Senior VP Jack Womack writes in a note to staff that the cuts come after a 3-year analysis of the company’s work processes.
The CNN Library, which houses CNN’s archives, is centralizing in Atlanta. The library in CNN New York is closing, while there will be cuts in staff at the library in Washington, DC. New positions will be added to the CNN Library in Atlanta.
“As a result of these technology and workflow changes, CNN is reducing the number of media editors in our work force in Atlanta,” Womack writes, adding, “Some photojournalists will be departing the company.”
“We cannot begin to thank these individuals enough for their service to CNN. They leave with our respect and our sincere best wishes.”
Even with today’s cuts, CNN anticipates adding staffers in the New Year with overall staff levels at this time next year, around the same.
In a separate note to the DC staff, bureau chief Sam Feist announced the reorganization of the Live Production Unit which is seeing staff cuts today, and the posting of two new positions in the near future. “I realize that these transitions can be very difficult and create many questions,” writes Feist. “However, we believe that the changes we are making here in Washington and across CNN will make us even stronger going forward.”
The note from Womack after the jump…
From: Womack, Jack
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 3:59 PM
To: *CNN ALL Cities ImageSound (TBS); *CNN ALL Cities Tech Ops
Subject: NOTE TO STAFF
For the past three years, we have been analyzing our work process across Image + Sound, both in the field and in our editing and production areas.
Our goal has been to make sure we have the right resources in the right places to meet the demands of all of our programs. Technology investments in our newsrooms now allow more desk-top editing and publishing for broadcast and online. This evolution allows more people in more places to edit and publish than ever before. As a result of these technology and workflow changes, CNN is reducing the number of media editors in our work force in Atlanta. CNN Image + Sound will continue with high end craft editing that has positive impact on our networks and platforms.
We also spent a great deal of time analyzing how we utilize and deploy photojournalists across all of our locations in the U.S. We looked at the evolution of daytime and evening line-ups. We analyzed how stories are assigned and more importantly the ratio of stories assigned that actually make it on to our networks or platforms. We know that we have to sharpen our focus on stories assigned to ensure that this great work gets on air. We looked at production demands, down time, and international deployments. We looked at the impact of user-generated content and social media, CNN iReporters and of course our affiliate contributions in breaking news. Consumer and pro-sumer technologies are simpler and more accessible. Small cameras are now high broadcast quality. More of this technology is in the hands of more people. After completing this analysis, CNN determined that some photojournalists will be departing the company.
We cannot begin to thank these individuals enough for their service to CNN. They leave with our respect and our sincere best wishes.
Now that we have completed this three-year review, we believe that we have the right resources in the right places and the proper staffing at Image + Sound, and that the unit is well-positioned to have an even more positive impact on our networks and platforms.