CNN began cutting off affected personnel today, a little over a month after Warner Bros. Discovery said it was canceling CNN+, according to various sources. It’s unknown how many workers are affected in total, but according to a source, around 23 employees at CNN’s Hudson Yards offices were told recently that their jobs were being cut.
Another source verified that layoffs had occurred, but said that the corporation is still looking for ways to re-hire those impacted CNN+ employees at CNN and Warner Bros. Discovery.
“All CNN+ employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days to explore opportunities at CNN, CNN Digital, and elsewhere in the Warner Bros. Discovery family,” new CNN Worldwide chairman and CEO Chris Licht wrote in an internal memo, as previously reported by TVNewser.
At a separate town hall, Licht told CNN staffers that those who aren’t merged into the new Warner Bros. Discovery will get a minimum of six months of severance, per report.
Warner Bros. Discovery shut down CNN+, the much-hyped subscription-based streaming news service, less than a month after it started. The decision was made less than two weeks after WarnerMedia & Discovery combined formally. CEO David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery has committed to saving $3 billion, suggesting the possibility of massive layoffs once the businesses merge.
Meredith Artley, CNN Digital’s editor-in-chief and svp, announced her retirement last week. She is the second high-ranking CNN digital executive to leave since the WarnerMedia/Discovery deal was completed in April. Andrew Morse, Artley’s former supervisor, and the executive in charge of the now-defunct CNN+ left earlier this month.
CNN is the home of world-famous Jeffrey Toobin who accidentally exposed himself to people on Zoom. He returned just eight months after the incident that took the Internet by storm.
CNN was forced to report on their own bizarre situation, saying the following about Toobin’s return: “Jeffrey Toobin returned to CNN as the network’s chief legal analyst on Thursday, eight months after he exposed himself during a Zoom call with colleagues at The New Yorker. Toobin was interviewed by anchor Alisyn Camerota on “CNN Newsroom” about that incident, and about recent legal news.
“I feel like we should address what’s happened in the months since we’ve seen you,” Camerota said. She summarized the situation and said, “To quote Jay Leno, ‘What the hell were you thinking?'” Toobin described himself as a “flawed human being who makes mistakes” and said his conduct was “deeply moronic and indefensible.”
He added, “I didn’t think other people could see me,” but he admitted that was no defense. In the interview, Toobin expressed apologies to his wife and family, to the people who were on the Zoom call that day, and to his colleagues.
“And I’m sorry to the people who read my work and who watched me on CNN who thought I was a better person than this. And so, you know, I got a lot to rebuild, but I feel very privileged and very lucky that I’m going to be able to try to do that,” he said.”
There’s always a chance that some people were not happy with the Jeffrey Toobin incident and therefore lacked interest in CNN+, but that is merely speculation at this point.