Klein on Layoffs: “We Actually Have More People Working at CNN Than Worked Here a Year Ago”

By SteveK 

CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein reflects on 2008 in an interview with The Huffington Post’s Danny Shea, and he describes why the recent “layoffs” are actually “tradeoffs.”

“We actually have more people working at CNN than worked here a year ago,” he says. “And we continue, of course, being mindful of the economic environment, we’re cautious as we’ve always been, but we’re continuing to lay our plans for building up our businesses, and yeah sometimes you have to make tradeoffs.”

He also responds to the much-quoted “goddamn it, we’re going to have more people” New York Observer story. “That was misconstrued. I didn’t say we are going to hire more people. I said we are in a position, because we’re a healthy business and a network that’s devoted to journalism, we are able to field more people on the air and off the air than anyone else can,” says Klein.

Click continued to see Klein’s take on the 10pmET A25-54 demo win and why he thinks Campbell Brown “is doing remarkably well”…

Says Klein to the HuffPost:

Among other achievements, winning the year at 10PM is remarkable. When you look three years ago, nobody thought that would be possible, when we first launched Anderson at 10. And he has created America’s national newscast. That’s what it is. It’s the news of the day. It’s in-depth analysis — smart people having interesting conversations about the news. And nobody thought that was possible in cable. The presumption had been that the only way to win in cable is to do sensationalism or over-the-top partisan opinion. We have proven otherwise at 10 PM. And we’ve done the same at 4, 5, and 6, where the Situation Room is the winner. So we’re proud of having pulled that off the right way.

I think Campbell is doing remarkably well when you consider she hasn’t even been on the air for a year at 8PM. She’s seen far more success far more quickly than either of her competitors there. And she became one of the most talked-about journalists of the election cycle, which is hard to do because every journalist is covering the election. But she’s been steadily honing that voice and turning out an excellent newscast every night. That’s been a winning formula for us, just putting out the best newscasts anywhere. And it’s what we’re gonna keep doing.

> Update: HuffPost has added this clarification:

*CNN won the month of November in the demo at 4, 5, and 6 PM. The total year numbers are still outstanding; Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto” and “Special Report with Brit Hume” are likely to win at 4PM and 6PM, respectively. The 5PM hour remains close, with “The Situation Room” currently beating “America’s News HQ” by a narrow margin.