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Media upheaval: CNN cutting about 100 jobs, and CBS News president announces resignation

Media upheaval: CNN cutting about 100 jobs, and CBS News president announces resignation
The CNN sign is seen, April 21, 2022, in Atlanta. CNN announced Wednesday, July 10, 2024, that it is eliminating approximately 100 jobs and plans to debut its first digital subscriptions before the end of the year as the news network leans into reshaping its business. Credit: AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File

CBS News President Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews said Wednesday she's resigning after less than a year in her role, and CNN announced that it was eliminating approximately 100 jobs in continued signs of upheaval for the media business.

Ciprian-Matthews will continue to work as an adviser through the presidential election before exiting CBS News. She was named CBS News president last August.

Her resignation came a few days after CBS parent Paramount Global announced it was selling control of the company to the entertainment firm Skydance, which is expected to make job cuts at CBS.

Ciprian-Matthews alluded to coming changes in a memo she sent to staff members.

"We all know our industry and company are going through a transformation and a number of short- and long-term decisions need to be made," she wrote. "I do not want to be disingenuous with any of you about who should drive these decisions."

Once one of the most powerful jobs in journalism, the broadcast network news president job is evolving into a secondary role under a corporate-appointed manager. In the case of CBS, Ciprian-Matthews has reported to Wendy McMahon, president and CEO of CBS News and Stations.

CNN said it plans to debut its first digital subscriptions before the end of the year as the news network leans into reshaping its business. The network's plans were outlined in a memo sent to staff on Wednesday by CNN CEO Mark Thompson.

Thompson said that the 100 jobs come out of a total workforce of around 3,500 people. He said that open roles were closed wherever possible in order to minimize the total layoffs.

Media organizations including CNN have struggled to grow audiences and revenue, and have sought to diversify what they're offering to customers.

Thompson said that CNN's digital strategy must be "ambitious enough to deliver the audiences and the revenue we need to maintain our unique journalistic firepower and succeed as a business."

The executive said CNN will create subscription-ready products that offer news, analysis and context in new formats. He emphasized that there will be an effort to keep users on CNN.com's website longer and finding ways to get them to return more.

While CNN's digital products have primarily focused on text articles, Thompson said there will be a shift to more video content being provided.

"In the future our digital products need to do a far better job of reflecting CNN's massive strength in video and anchoring/reporting talent," Thompson said.

The organization is also going to develop more "news you can use" for its audience, with lifestyles and features content. Thompson said these products will provide the company with various monetization opportunities, including sponsorships, new advertising and direct-to-consumer subscription.

CNN will also be pushing more into artificial intelligence, Thompson said, and will look at how it can safely use the technology to serve its audience.

Thompson, a former chief executive of the BBC and The New York Times, was named as the head of CNN in August 2023 and took over the role in October. He replaced Chris Licht, who was fired in June of that year. Thompson was credited with helping the Times transition to a digital-first organization more dependent on paid subscribers than the collapsing advertising market that has doomed many newspapers.

In January Thompson outlined a strategy to his staff that included a "drastic modernization" of the CNN.com website.

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Citation: Media upheaval: CNN cutting about 100 jobs, and CBS News president announces resignation (2024, July 10) retrieved 12 July 2024 from https://techxplore.com/news/2024-07-cnn-paid-streaming-jobs.html
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