CNN staffers should not expect to return to their offices until the end of summer, President Jeff Zucker said in a memo to worldwide staff Wednesday. The majority of the network’s employees have been working from home for six weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will not be returning to the office in any significant way any time soon,” he wrote in the email, obtained by TheWrap. “We will phase back in very slowly, with emphasis in the beginning on roles that are directly related to keeping the CNN US network on the air, as well as newsgathering. As a result, for the majority of you, across all of our networks and platforms, return to the office will not happen in any significant way before the end of the summer.”
The memo outlined that only about 10% of staff is working in CNN offices worldwide, a number the network hopes to increase to 15% by early June. “Our expectation is that the rest of you will not return before early September, with a few exceptions in July for newsgathering and some in August, depending on the political conventions,” Zucker wrote, adding that “none of these dates are set in stone.”
“To be clear, production of our programs will continue from home, as it is now, until the end of summer. Same for digital,” he wrote. “I should also note that our Hong Kong office will likely be operating on a different timetable, as they have throughout this crisis, determined by local conditions there.”
In the memo, Zucker thanked CNNers for their “continued commitment to keeping us on the air and online” and said the organization has “informed more people around the world about this global pandemic” than its competitors.
CNN has been a public face of the pandemic not only for its reporting, but because three of its high-profile on-air talents — Chris Cuomo, Brooke Baldwin and Richard Quest — have tested positive for the virus and been vocal about their experiences.