CNN President and CEO Jeff Zucker, who was told a few months ago he would have to do “less with less,” now knows how many fewer employees he will soon have under his command. The network’s parent company, Turner Broadcasting, announced that they would be laying off 1,475 people, with 300 of those coming from CNN Worldwide.
CNN Worldwide is comprised of CNN’s U.S. and international television channels, plus HLN, CNN Digital and other ventures.
The cutbacks are part of an internal effort known as Turner 2020, intended to save money and refocus investment in a fast changing cable television and news environment.
Zucker told New York magazine, in an interview published this week, that “It’s not about a path to No. 1 here.” Now he has an even tougher task in trying to turn things around, with a smaller workforce and the knowledge that this is probably not the last such cutback at the struggling network.
Unlike MSNBC president Phil Griffin, who boldly predicted that his network would overtake Fox News Channel as the top-rated cable news network in 2014, Zucker at least is being somewhat realistic with his goals. But after 21 months at the helm, it is quite clear that he really doesn’t have a clue as to what needs to be done to fix CNN.