Just one day after CNN chief Chris Licht informed network staff that some of them would be receiving a pink slip for Christmas, the hammer dropped. Bah! Humbug! What a lousy thing to do around the holidays. Then again, many of these folks are reaping what they sowed.
Entertainment publication Variety was the first to report that a number of notable correspondents were let go from the company on Thursday, including the very polarizing reporter and editor-at-large, Chris Cillizza. No mercy for these guys. I’m okay with that because, for years and years, this network and those who work for it have targeted conservatives, sought to create narratives that paint up true, genuine patriots as evil, vile domestic terrorists, and attacked former President Trump mercilessly in the process.
The Daily Beast reported, “Besides Cillizza, who is known for his ‘simplistic’ both-sides punditry, CNN also parted ways with correspondents Alison Kosik, Alexandra Field, and Martin Savidge, as well as Mary Anne Fox, the VP of northeast news.”
The report continued, “Furthermore, CNN will end all live programming on sister network HLN, resulting in the cancellation of the long-running morning program Morning Express. The show’s anchor, Robin Meade, who has been with the network since 2001, and other HLN hosts will lose their jobs.”
The network also said adios to several of its paid on-air contributors, which includes Susan Glasser, staff writer for The New Yorker, and Politico reporter Jonathan Martin. Guess we should put a few boxes of Kleenex in their stockings this Christmas.
In a memo that was sent out to the entire staff on Thursday afternoon, Licht acknowledged the cancellation of Morning Express along with other cuts made across the network.
“Beginning December 6, CNN will no longer produce live programming for HLN and instead will simulcast CNN This Morning. HLN Crime programming will move under the WBD Networks led by Kathleen Finch and will be merged with ID,” Licht wrote in the memo. “I want to take a moment to thank Robin Meade— she is not only an exceptionally popular anchor, but also one of the longest-running morning hosts in history. I know the HLN audience will miss her and the other HLN talent.”
Going on to add that CNN would be “shifting our approach to paid contributors,” he also pointed out that the channel’s “programming teams will see some reductions in show staffs and, in some cases, the combination of teams for our dayside and weekend lineups.”
The network boss then stated that other divisions would have to deal with “restructuring” while also letting the staff they had left that he would be holding a town hall next week to talk about all of the recent changes.
“To our departing colleagues, I want to express my gratitude for your dedicated and tireless service and for your many contributions to CNN,” he remarked. “To all employees, I want to underscore the importance of taking the time you need to best be able to move forward.”
All of these changes are coming about as the parent company of CNN, Warner Bros. Discovery, is working to clear out billions of dollars from its budget while also cutting a thousand jobs.