CNN Sheds 100-Plus Employees in Buyouts

A rep for the network says the buyouts were voluntary and there were no layoffs

More than 100 CNN employees will be leaving the company after taking a voluntary buyout, a representative for the network confirmed to TheWrap on Tuesday.

Contrary to earlier unconfirmed reports, the rep also said that all of the departing employees had taken buyouts and that there had been no layoffs. The buyouts were offered to all CNN employees worldwide, totally nearly 4,000 people.

In March, CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia revealed that it would undergo a restructuring after their formal takeover by AT&T, though it remains unclear whether these cuts were specifically related to that. In his piece at the time, CNN’s Brian Stelter said his network would be “untouched” by the reorganization.

Though layoffs were avoided, the buyouts are another indicator of the broader headwinds facing the media industry as 2019 grinds onwards. As of March, more than 2,400 people had been taken out of the industry with BuzzFeed, Vice, Gannett, First Look Media, HuffPost and McClatchy all shedding staff.

Many smaller websites, like Mic or the Gizmodo media properties, have folded up entirely or been sold at bargain-basement prices by owners looking to cut their losses in a punishing digital environment.

The buyout news that first emerged Monday came on the same day CNN began broadcasting from their new Hudson Yards studios in New York City. The move will gradually take the network out of their old haunt in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle, with more shows and employees transitioning over the coming months.