CNN to Cut Costs, Lay Off Staff by Year’s End: ‘These Changes Will Not Be Easy’

Network chairman Chris Licht informed the staff in a Wednesday memo

CNN Chris Licht
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CNN is looking to cut costs by year’s end, including staff layoffs throughout the company, network chief Chris Licht announced in an all-staff memo Wednesday, the Chairman and CEO’s first sweeping move to reform the news network since taking control less than six months ago.

“There is widespread concern over the global economic outlook, and we must factor that risk into our long-term planning,” Licht wrote in the memo obtained by TheWrap. “All this together will mean noticeable changes to this organization.

“Our aim is to have most of these decisions made by the end of the year so we can start 2023 feeling settled and prepared for the future.”

Licht has made dramatic, targeted changes like axing subscription-service CNN+ in its infancy and parting ways with anchors and reporters Brian Stelter and John Harwood, as well as zesting up its morning show with former prime-time host Don Lemon. But the impending cuts will be Licht’s first company-wide reorg that, by the sound of it, may be painful.

“These changes will not be easy,” Licht wrote, “because they will affect people, budgets, and projects.”

Licht sought to assure the staff that cuts will “minimize the impact on our core newsgathering operation and Digital, both of which have already executed smart changes.”

“Let me be clear: I will not allow these changes to affect our position as the world’s leading news source, and we will continue to invest in growth areas,” he continued. “When we conclude this process, CNN will still be the largest, most-respected newsgathering organization in the world. We will continue to cover any story, anywhere, any time – with more resources than anyone else. Full stop.”

However, Licht added: “When we emerge on the other side, CNN will be a stronger, more nimble organization, ready to weather whatever the global economy throws at us and to grow into the future.”