CNN is preparing to layoff as many as 50 employees from its digital arm, according to a Vanity Fair report.
VF’s Joe Pompeo reports:
I’ve learned that CNN, a key property in AT&T’s planned takeover of CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, is targeting big savings on the digital side, with as many as 50 jobs around the globe scheduled to be eliminated this week, according to people familiar with the matter, who noted the exact number could still be in flux.
The cuts will focus on employees working in “CNN Money, video, product, tech and social publishing,” and come as the media company has taken steps to rework its digital side.
That notably includes the shutting down of Beme, a video startup CNN had recently acquired from popular YouTube star Casey Neistat for $25 million. The venture was short-lived: Neistat left the company earlier this year and it was effectively closed down.
“The budget measures seem to take some heat off the ambitious digital futurism that CNN was preaching just under a year ago,” Pompeo adds, noting that last year the company was looking to challenge Vice and Buzzfeed’s grip on digital media.
All three organizations missed their revenue projections the past year, Pompeo reports, with CNN missing its target “by tens of millions of dollars, according to a person with knowledge of the numbers, who noted that the business line was nonetheless still profitable.”
Though Pompeo notes that the cuts are not gutting for a company as large and global as CNN, they raise further concerns about its stability — particularly in light of AT&T’s acquisition of CNN parent company Time Warner, and rumors that network prez Jeff Zucker is flirting with an exit.
Read the report here.
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