by Ben Callen | TRN
Well, well…despite boasting about higher ratings for bashing Trump since he took office, it looks like CNN President Jeff Zucker was engaging in a bit of “fake news” about his network’s bottom line.
According to a stunning article in Vanity Fair, CNN has “failed to reach revenue targets” and will soon be forced to lay off dozens of employees from “high-profile digital initiatives.”
From Vanity Fair:
Despite the so-called “Trump Bump,” I’ve learned that CNN, a key property in AT&T’s planned takeover of CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, must make big cuts on the digital side, with at least 50 jobs scheduled to be eliminated this week, according to people familiar with the matter, who noted the exact number could still be in flux.
The cuts will reportedly affect employees who work in “premium businesses” including CNN Money, video, product, tech and social publishing.
And there may be “many more layoffs” to come.
“Several high profile digital initiatives are being scaled back”, including CNN’s virtual reality productions and its efforts on Snapchat, where CNN recently nixed a live daily webcast after just four months. CNN’s business-oriented MoneyStream app, as BuzzFeed reported earlier this month, is in the gutter as well. A team that works on the digital extensions of documentary-style TV shows, such as Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and Lisa Ling’s This is Life, as well as the Brooke Baldwin series American Woman, is also being reorganized.
The budget measures seem to take some heat off the ambitious digital futurism that CNN was preaching just under a year ago. A March 2017 Hollywood Reporter cover story portrayed the network as taking on Vice and BuzzFeed in the battle for digital dominance.
CNN reportedly “missed its target by tens of millions of dollars”, according to Vanity Fair.
Fake News. REAL layoffs. Couldn’t happen to a nice network.