CNN Lays Off Top Entertainment Producers as Part of Reorg (Exclusive)

CNN Lays Off Top Entertainment Producers as Part of Reorg (Exclusive)

UPDATED: The cable news network continues its efforts to restructure

CNN has laid off top producers from its entertainment group in a reshuffle of the unit, TheWrap has learned.

Among those laid off were longtime executive producer Karen Bonsignore and part of her team including Jennifer Wolfe, Doug Hyde, Denise Quan and KJ Matthews, according to an individual with knowledge of the layoffs. Bonsignore (pictured, below left) had worked for CNN for 32 years.

According to insiders, the changes were part of a plan to restructure the cable news network's approach to entertainment coverage.

Also read: Ratings Rise at CNN, But So Do Costs, Time Warner Leaders Say

The daily entertainment show “Showbiz Tonight” on sister network HLN was apparently not affected by the layoffs. On Monday, HLN announced that “Showbiz Tonight” would take up three hours of the network's weekday real estate, with a live one hour show at 6 p.m. and reruns at noon and 11 p.m.

TVNewser reported layoffs in LA, NY and Atlanta on Friday, with a dozen people let go, who would be replaced by new blood.

Also read: How Jeff Zucker Lured Rachel Nichols to CNN's ‘Unguarded’ With $12 Pancakes

Network president Jeff Zucker has struggled to reposition CNN. The network reboot got off to a strong start with an injection of fresh on-air talent, new morning show “New Day” and the relaunch of “Crossfire,” but those shows are struggling in the ratings. On the week of Oct. 28, the network suffered its lowest primetime average ratings since Zucker took over in January 2013.

CNN did not respond to TheWrap's requests for comment.

For the record: An unfinished version of this story was inadvertently published which misidentified one of the producers who was laid off. TheWrap regrets the error.



  • ottomarcos

    Perhaps all the folks being laid off are too liberal for the Foxification of CNN. Along with the lack of journalistic ethics evident in the network from the on-air “talent”, to one degree or another, in the recent past, imagine my surprise the other morning when whomever it was “interviewing” Billy Graham's son simply allowed him to preach the gospel of Jesus to his heart's delight, because apparently that's what a news network is supposed to be doing these days. If people like Wolf Blitzer heard what I've heard from students in dining halls at one of the great Universities in our nation as they ate lunch vis-a-vis his interview with President Obama a while back in Texas, of all places, the younger, well-educated demographic is lost. Nice going, Zucker! Oh, the irony…

  • Jsedge

    CNN is becoming increasingly shrill and superficial. I only watch Fareed Zakaria — everything else on CNN is an annoying waste of time.

    • Ex dem

      You mean the plagiarist?

  • Jeff Scott

    I personally feel ‘over-news-Ed’ and long for the time when news was between 6-7pm – that's it, and forming my own opinion of what's going on in the world, after hearing an unbiased report.

    Like others, I took the first step, dropped Cable, get my news over-the-air locally while buying my entertainment at a substantially reduced discount on services like Hulu-Plus.

    If the last recession taught me anything, it's to save as much money as I can and be more informed of my expenses. Cable turns into a definite want, not a need… and subsequently gets turfed.

    While more of us come to the same realizations, Cable News Channels will continually have to cut expenses or open their networks to rebroadcast era like Hulu, or heaven forbid, allow free access over the net. Like the telephone before it, over the air broadcasting on cable is nearing the end of its life cycle. Those who don't embrace the broadband culture will surely die like the rotary landline telephone.

    Using Hulu and OTA broadcasts have put almost $2000 a year back into my wallet… Meaning more savings, less debt, and an occasional vacation.

  • Radiomantx

    That's what we need another damn FOX News channel. I watch Al Jazeera America. They are the ONLY so called “news Channel” that actually reports news, instead of propaganda and without all that boring Hollywood Horse Sh*t!

  • Radiomantx

    Karen Bonsignore's firing is so typical of today's corporate structure. You're treated the same whether you're there 32 years or 32 minutes. That is so totally wrong. A person who gives a company 32 years of their life deserves better!

  • Flop sweat

    Zucker has hired people who failed at the networks. No reason to believe they do anything different at CNN.
    Has the morning show boss succeeded anywhere?

  • Bob33062

    You want real news watch AJAM or Aljazeera the best all around.