CNN chief Chris Licht tells staff to brace for budget cuts, but he insists that the news media won’t be hurt. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2014)
CNN media chief Chris Licht says he’s preparing to implement tough cuts to expenses after what he describes as a record year in his department and the company.
But Licht made clear that the news media’s news operations won’t be the ones to pay for the cuts.
“I need to do two things: one, cut the budget and, two, make sure that news organizations are in-sourced a number of stories, which means that, you know, we’re just going to have to let a number of them go.”
“News organizations are not going to be in-sourced,” he said, adding that he’s not yet decided on the length of his layoffs.
Licht’s comments come in the immediate wake of a report from CNN’s parent company, Time Warner Inc., that said it would lay off 900 workers as part of a plan to streamline operations.
A Time Warner spokesperson previously said the company has not made a decision, but said layoffs are “pending and subject to change.”
Licht would not say whether the company is cutting any CNN reporters.
“Well, we’re not yet in place in some sort of layoff situation,” he said. “And I’m not going to comment on, because this is the most confidential personnel matter that we have. But we’re not in a situation where we’re cutting any employees at this point, nor will we be at any point. The company is not making any final decisions on that, as I think it’s premature to do so.”
Licht said that CNN — and news organizations overall — are getting a “solid year” in 2014, and that the network is planning to double down on its “hard news” and investigative reporting.
“In this tough economic climate, journalism continues to be the only profession that’s thriving.”
Last month, CNN fired