CNN, HLN Layoffs Day 2: ‘Crossfire,’ ‘Unguarded’ With Rachel Nichols, and ‘Sanjay Gupta MD’ Canceled

Network cancels political debate show, sports program from former ESPN reporter, medical show with Gupta, business program with Christine Romans

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Four CNN shows were canceled Wednesday: “Crossfire,” “Unguarded” with Rachel Nichols, “Sanjay Gupta MD,” and “CNN Money” with Christine Romans, individuals familiar with the situation told TheWrap.

The moves come after CNN disbanded its entertainment unit in Los Angeles and New York on Tuesday. In the talent ranks, HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell’s self-titled program was canceled Tuesday and she will be leaving the network.

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The four hosts of “Crossfire”–Newt Gingrich, S.E. Cupp, Van Jones, and Stephanie Cutter–will continue on with the network. Nichols will also stay on and will host special sports-related interviews and specials. She’s also a correspondent for Turner Sports, doing sideline reporting for the NBA. Gupta will remain with the network for medical breaking news and field reporting. The medical unit is being restructured with some cuts as a result, insiders tell us. Romans will remain as co-anchor of the early morning program “Early Start” and the network’s main business correspondent.

It’s unknown how many staffers were cut as a result of the show’s cancellation. CNN would not comment to TheWrap.

Nichols’ sports program was never a ratings success. She joined CNN in January, 2013; one of then-new president Jeff Zucker‘s first talent hires. Her weekly program debuted last October. She landed interviews with some of sports’ biggest names, including Lebron James, Derek Jeter, and Tiger Woods. During the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal, she reported across CNN programming on a daily basis. Even with high-profile interviews, her Friday evening program struggled ratings-wise. Since its launch, the show was down 17 percent in viewers and 18 percent in demo viewers.

Also readCNN’s ‘Unguarded’ Gets Rough Ratings Start

Gupta joined CNN in 2001. He reported from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and won an Emmy Award for his reporting in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake. Most recently, he’s been reporting on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa — and now the U.S. — for the network. Even with his show’s cancellation, he is reporting for the network today on the breaking news surrounding a second healthcare worker being diagnosed with the virus in Dallas.

Turner Broadcasting plans to lay off 1,475 employees this month — a 10 percent reduction in staff. Approximately 900 employees from all of Turner in Atlanta will be let go, while CNN Worldwide will lose a total of 170.

The job cuts followed voluntary buyouts that were offered to 550 employees division-wide in August. As TheWrap previously reported, if not enough staffers accepted the voluntary buyouts, layoffs were to follow. About 130 CNN Worldwide employees elected to take a buyout.

Also readCNN, HLN Layoffs: Jane Velez-Mitchell Out, Entertainment Unit Disbanded

Severance pay will be offered to the employees, who will come from 18 global locations. The job cuts will come from all levels across the company’s news, entertainment, kids, young adult and sports networks and business, as well as corporate functions, the company said earlier in a press release.

On Tuesday CNN’s production services unit was disbanded, and major cuts were made in the viewer services department, insiders said.