It appears that CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker’s ambitious plans to remake the network are about to come to a screeching halt with his announcement that layoffs are looming in the near future.
According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Turner Broadcasting CEO John Martin sent a memo to the employees suggesting that layoffs may be necessary to help create a more “streamlined, nimble and efficient company.”
Zucker then informed employees that CNN will be a part of the streamlining:
We now have a sense of what Turner is expecting from CNN. I am working with the senior management team at CNN to figure out what this means for us. This will result in changes and what we do and what we stop doing. We need to continue to protect what we’ve been doing so brilliantly for the last few months. We need to have the ability to do what we’ve been doing. On the other hand, we are faced with reality, we are going to have to do what we do with less. As a result, that means there will be changes. No final decisions have been made. I will be meeting with senior management of CNN. You will hear from your manager in the next week or so.
We are just now moving into the next phase, I know this is on a lot of people’s mind. We are going to do less and have to do it with less.
It’s not known how many CNN employees will lose their jobs, but you can bet the impending layoffs are due to the fact that Zucker has largely failed to reignite the network’s ratings, despite revamping a large part of CNN’s lineup.
Maybe Zucker could take the lead and take a little bit less in salary to align it with his performance to date.