About Those CNN Layoffs

By Chris Ariens 

CNN304x200The Financial Times is getting around to reporting layoffs that occurred at CNN toward the end of last year. At the time of the layoffs — which number in the dozens — a source told TVNewser there would be no reduction in headcount in the cities most affected: Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, DC.

Our source says changes in Los Angeles are related to a planned expansion of the entertainment unit. In recent weeks CNN has churned out entertainment focused specials, including an hour on Amy Poehler and Tina Fey and has increased awards season red carpet specials. This Friday, the network will produce a special report called Bieber’s Troubles, following the pop star’s run-in with Miami Beach police overnight.

As for the layoffs last year, FT reports one of those laid off was “a pregnant producer who was two weeks away from giving birth to twins.”


But departing staff have expressed concern. “It makes you wonder what direction CNN is going in,” said Kim Segal, a supervising producer who left CNN recently after a long career when the network asked her to choose between a cut in pay and a severance package.

Ms. Segal supervised much of CNN’s coverage of the Florida trial of George Zimmerman, a ratings winner for the network, as well as Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration. “For 24 years there was nowhere else I wanted to be because of the 24-hour platform we had at CNN,” she said. “I would hate for other programming to get in front of that.”