CNN to Carry Out Layoffs in Early December

By Mark Mwachiro 

Chris Licht, CNN’s CEO and Chairman, held a town hall meeting with his staff on Tuesday, where he provided more details about the network’s upcoming layoffs.

The town hall was a follow-up to revelations that a six-month business review of the network, which Licht had ordered, had just been concluded, and one of the takeaways from it was that job cuts would be happening towards the end of the year.

According to a report from Business Insider, Licht confirmed that the layoffs would begin in early December, and those laid off will receive a 60 to 90-day notice. He also said that eligible executives that are laid off will still be able to receive their January bonus and severance.


Licht didn’t get into specifics about which units will be hardest hit by the impending layoffs or how many people would be let go, but he did say that newsgathering operations would be minimally impacted and that there would be no layoffs at CNN Digital.

At the town hall meeting, which was moderated by CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, Licht was also pressed as to why he had changed his tune regarding layoffs. He said that in June, when he asserted that CNN would not be hit with any layoffs that were being forced on at other units of Warner Bros. Discovery, he was going with the truth as he knew it at that time and that things change.

He also said he regretted that the staff would be forced to deal with another excruciating period after experiencing an already tumultuous 2022.

Licht also mentioned during the staff meeting that a new organizational structure would be announced for CNN’s newsgathering operation. He added that for the last few months, CNN management has been working on combining the digital and TV newsgathering operations into a single unit.

Licht has his plate full; in addition to preparing for the impending layoffs, he also has to focus on the programming side of things as he is starting to reveal what his version of CNN would look like. His brainchild CNN This Morning is just a few weeks old and still trying to find its footing, and there is still no word as to what will happen with the 9 pm ET slot.

Variety’s Brian Steinberg reports that Licht may look outside of CNN to try and fill that slot. He had moved Jake Tapper into that time slot for a brief period leading up to the midterm elections, but that move did not catch on with viewers.

It was inevitable that CNN would end up getting caught under the rigorous cost-cutting directives set forth by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

Zaslav, who Licht says is a fan of CNN, is looking to realize $3 billion in post-merger savings.

On Tuesday at a conference in New York, Zaslav told investors that the advertising market is currently weaker than at any point during the pandemic slowdown of 2020 and that if it doesn’t improve by next year, it will be hard for his company to hit its $12 billion earnings forecasted for 2023.