CNN chief Chris Licht has big ideas, but employees are nervous, and more job cuts are coming

by | Oct 26, 2022 | Business

Chris Licht, Chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide.Courtesy: CNNCNN CEO Chris Licht started conducting a business review of the news network when he agreed to take the job in April.That evaluation wrapped up last week, according to people familiar with the matter, and CNN employees are about to find out Licht’s conclusions.Licht faces many challenges at CNN. Like all cable news networks, the business is shrinking. CNN makes money off advertising and pay-TV subscriber fees. But as millions of Americans cancel traditional pay TV each year in favor of streaming services, CNN almost certainly can’t raise subscription rates at a fast enough clip to make up for declining viewer numbers.CNN’s profit is set to drop below $1 billion this year for the first time since 2016, when Donald Trump was elected president. Parent company Warner Bros. Discovery’s valuation has nearly been cut in half this year as investors have lowered their expectations on global streaming subscriber growth and macroeconomic pressures have pressured advertising revenue.Licht has been given a mandate from Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav to transform CNN, which the network boss is internally referring to as a “right sizing” of the business. Many of Licht’s job cuts are still to come this year, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the decisions are private.Licht’s review is part of a larger effort spearheaded by Zaslav, who has told division heads throughout the company to rethink their units and find ways to cut costs. More than 1,000 people will be laid off by Warner Bros. Discovery before the end of the year, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private and ongoing. Warner Bros. Discovery has about 40,000 employees.Licht doesn’t have a specific order to cut a certain amount of jobs or save a specific percentage of spending. But he’s planning to cut parts of CNN that he have become bloated over time, said the people. A CNN spokesperson declined to comment.Some of the reductions have already happened. Licht has cut back on CNN’s audio division to eliminate unpopular podcasts. He’s shuttered CNN’s NFT marketplace. And his first job was to kill CNN+, the company’s fledgling streaming service strongly supported by former CNN head Jeff …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This