Layoffs At CNN As Network Transitions To Acquisition Model For Documentary Programming

By Alex Weprin 

CNN laid off dozens of employees today in its two documentary units, TVNewser has learned.

In a statement, the channel says that while it will continue to produce in-house docs–such as the “In America” series–much of its long-form journalism will now come from outside production companies.

The reorganized unit will have one documentary team focused on producing and acquiring docs, and a second team dedicated to investigative reporting on weekdays.

“We are transitioning to an acquisition model for documentary production, in addition to continuing to produce some original long-form programming, such as CNN’s In America series,” read a CNN statement. “By working with leading documentarians throughout the world, we will be able to expand the scope of documentaries on CNN and create an even greater impact. We are also increasing our investigative reporting during the week, supported by a stand-alone investigative unit, separate and apart from our long-form documentary unit.”

As is often the case with reorganizations, there will be new jobs posted that affected staffers are being encouraged to apply for, though there is still expected to be a net loss in terms of headcount.

“CNN expects many of the employees to remain with the company,” said a spokesperson in a statement.

This is the second significant reorganization at CNN in four months. Back in November, CNN laid off dozens of employees across the country, with photojournalists, editors and video library staffers hit particularly hard.