Struggling CNN cuts workers even because it strikes to fancy new digs
Information community CNN is planning to scale back its headcount, leaving many staffers anxious for his or her jobs. Because the community’s scores proceed to sag, over 100 CNN workers have accepted voluntary buyouts, together with CNN Worldwide govt vp Tony Maddow, who has been with the corporate for 21 years. This all whereas the corporate is transferring to a lavish new facility within the Hudson Yards space on the West Facet of Manhattan.
CNN is struggling a credibility disaster as viewership for the once-proud community continues to crater with no obvious plan in place to make things better anytime quickly, in keeping with media watchdogs and insiders.
CNN’s viewers shriveled within the second quarter of 2019, averaging solely 541,000 whole viewers, lower than half Fox Information Channel’s 1.3 million common. However CNN struggled much more through the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET, ending because the fifteenth most-watched community on fundamental cable behind networks akin to TLC, Investigation Discovery and the Hallmark Channel. CNN averaged a dismal 761,000 primetime viewers whereas FNC averaged 2.4 million.
The Hill media guru Joe Concha instructed Fox Information that CNN’s freefall might not be slowing.
THIS IS CNN? PRIMETIME SHOWS FILLED WITH LIBERAL OPINION, NOT STRAIGHT NEWS AS NETWORK CLAIMS
“The numbers warrant concern, sure. Q2 was a very news-rich quarter highlighted by the discharge of the Mueller report and all of the aftermath and controversy following it, plus the launch of a number of high-profile Democratic candidacies together with Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg to propel 2020 protection into excessive gear,” Concha mentioned. “It might solely worsen in Q3 given the numbers we’re already seeing.”
CNN didn’t instantly reply when requested for remark.
CNN began off the third quarter with “the community’s lowest common since 2015” in terms of primetime viewers among the many key demographic of adults age 25-54, in keeping with TVNewser. However the community has prolonged numerous contributors by means of the election, indicating that its obvious anti-Trump programming technique will stay in place for at the very least the period of the president’s first time period.
“You realize the reply,” a longtime CNN worker mentioned when requested if staffers are panicked in regards to the scores decay earlier than declining additional remark.
One other present CNN worker instructed Fox Information that there’s widespread concern in regards to the community’s scores drawback, however high-profile hosts akin to Anderson Cooper stay unfazed.
“The individuals which might be involved – it’s definitely not the anchors who’ve profitable contracts – it’s the individuals among the many decrease ranges, akin to producers and present bookers.”
— CNN worker
“The individuals which might be involved – it’s definitely not the anchors who’ve profitable contracts – it’s the individuals among the many decrease ranges, akin to producers and present bookers,” the worker mentioned.
A 3rd present staffer instructed Fox Information that CNN “is clearly doing one thing mistaken if the scores are like this,” earlier than asking, “So why don’t we attempt one thing totally different?”
Cable information viewership has declined on the whole as increasingly shoppers lower the twine in favor of OTT streaming providers, however CNN’s losses are overwhelming. The community misplaced 18 % of its viewers in comparison with the second quarter of final yr. CNN additionally dropped a whopping 38 % of primetime viewers among the many key demo.
“Dropping practically 40 % of an already-third place viewers should be a main subject in inner conferences, with fast cures not readily obvious.”
— Joe Concha
“Dropping practically 40 % of an already third-place viewers should be a main subject in inner conferences, with fast cures not readily obvious,” Concha mentioned.
CNN’s hottest present, “Cuomo Prime Time,” averaged solely 910,000 viewers. Fourteen Fox Information applications and 10 MSNBC applications attracted bigger audiences.
Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper are a part of CNN’s struggling primetime lineup that misplaced 38% of its viewers in the important thing demo through the second quarter of 2019.
Reporter-turned-banker Porter Bibb is stunned guardian firm AT&T hasn’t made any adjustments. “My guess is that senior administration is extra involved in regards to the launch of HBO Max than CNN, at the very least for the second,” he mentioned.
Sagging scores weren’t the one detrimental headlines generated by CNN through the second quarter, because the community diminished its headcount days after publically declaring there wouldn’t be mass layoffs.
A CNN spokesperson instructed Fox Information on Might 7 that stories of looming layoffs had been a “loopy rumor,” however staffers had been shocked when members of the community’s Atlanta-based workers who coated well being care had been proven the door solely two weeks later.
CNN additionally noticed over 100 workers settle for a voluntary buyout choice, shedding bureau chiefs and award winners within the course of whereas the community moved into elaborate new New York Metropolis digs.
RATINGS-CHALLENGED CNN SHEDS STAFF AS NETWORK MOVES INTO LAVISH NEW DIGS
“My guess is that senior administration is extra involved in regards to the launch of HBO Max than CNN, at the very least for the second.”
— Porter Bibb
CNN started broadcasting in Might from the community’s ritzy new facility within the Hudson Yards space on the West Facet of Manhattan. The brand-new, state-of-the-art headquarters is a part of an expensive complicated that additionally options condominiums that begin at $4.3 million, high-end eating places and shops akin to Cartier, Rolex, Louis Vuitton and Neiman Marcus.
The second quarter additionally noticed the discharge of CNN White Home correspondent Jim Acosta’s anti-Trump guide. Earlier than its June launch, one present CNN worker instructed Fox Information that Acosta won’t be the precise particular person to cowl Trump’s White Home lately.
“Jim Acosta is, a whole lot of instances, asking the precise questions but it surely doesn’t at all times have to be about him and his grandstanding,” the CNN staffer mentioned. “Folks get bored with it. Acosta is meant to be a correspondent reporting the details however you may’t inform the distinction between him and a paid pundit.”
MSNBC’s latest Democratic presidential main debate attracted a big viewers, and CNN is about to host its personal model later this month. The occasion would usually be a cause for optimism, however CNN introduced on Monday that opinion host Don Lemon would a moderator, elevating eyebrows within the course of as revered journalists akin to Erin Burnett and Poppy Harlow stay on the sideline.
Debate moderators are traditionally straight-news journalists, versus partisan pundits, however CNN’s resolution mirrors NBC’s technique to permit Rachel Maddow to average final month’s Democratic debate. CNN has continued to label Lemon an “anchor” regardless of him spouting anti-Trump opinions regularly.
HANNITY TO CNN BOSS: ‘YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF’ FOR LETTING DON LEMON MAKE HITLER COMPARISON
Conservative strategist Chris Barron instructed Fox Information that CNN’s resolution is “a disservice to voters all throughout the political spectrum” as a result of Lemon – whose beleaguered primetime present has contributed to the community’s scores disaster — is so open about his personal views.
DePauw College professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall lately instructed Fox Information that Lemon is now not a information anchor within the conventional sense due to his partisan rhetoric.
“He’s a bunch of an opinion-driven present by which his opinions are entrance and heart. Thus, he’s a bunch slightly than a information anchor,” McCall mentioned. “His present does talk about information subjects, however it’s not designed as an goal information present.”
CNN’S DON LEMON DOESN’T LET ‘ANCHOR’ TITLE GET IN THE WAY OF HIS ON-AIR OPINIONS
In latest reminiscence, Lemon has in contrast Trump to Adolf Hitler, then claimed he “didn’t imply” to check the president and Hitler. He has additionally referred to as Trump a “racist,” a “fraud,” “con man,” questioned whether or not or not the State of the Union ought to air on a delay to keep away from “propaganda,” declared that he wouldn’t shake the president’s hand and questioned Trump’s psychological health.
“To fake he’s not an opinion host is lunacy,” a CNN worker instructed Fox Information.
Lemon has additionally recommended Trump doesn’t do sufficient work, speculated on whether or not or not the president lies about his weight, tied Trump to the school admissions dishonest scheme and took a shot at Trump as he was giving his colleague Chris Cuomo a quick tour of his new studio, suggesting that the president cannot afford such a lavish house since he is not a “actual billionaire.”
One certainty is that Lemon wasn’t chosen to carry the talk’s viewership totals. Lemon’s “CNN Tonight” completed the second quarter of 2019 because the thirty fifth most-watched present on cable information.