CNN Lays Off ‘Small Number’ of Audio Division Staffers

By Mark Mwachiro 

During the Jeff Zucker years, CNN invested heavily in audio and bulked up its operations. He brought in the former co-host of All Things Considered, Audie Cornish from NPR, and hired Alex MacCallum from the New York Times to oversee audio, amongst other things.

But with Chris Licht at the helm of the news organization, CNN is rethinking what it wants to do with audio.

The network has let go of eight staff members within the audio division, with a CNN spokesperson telling Adweek the network had to make a small number of changes to its audio team but “the vast majority remains in place.”


“Over the last several years we’ve learned a lot about the topics and productions that most resonate with our audiences. As a result, we’ve refined our strategy to focus our resources more specifically in those areas,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement.

One of the staffers who was let go said that CNN plans to produce fewer audio series in 2023.

Over the course of the year, the network has lost various people in management positions who have been involved with CNN Audio.

This includes MacCallum, Daniel Kantor, CNN’s vp of podcasts and audio, and Courtney Champan Coupe, CNN Digital’s SVP of content strategy – who last week left the organization to go work for LinkedIn.

CNN says audio is still an important growth area for them and it still has a sizeable roster of podcasts, including CNN 5 Things, CNN Political Briefing, Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Boss Files with Poppy Harlow, and The Axe Files with David Axelrod.

Earlier in September, CNN Audio debuted the All There Is with Anderson Cooper podcast. The limited series podcast deals with Cooper embarking on a deeply personal and emotional exploration of loss and grief and how to move forward without forgetting the moments, memories, and people.

The network still has not announced what plans it has for Cornish.