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CNN lays off 50 staffers; cites tech advances, work flow change

By Andrew Moran     Nov 14, 2011 in Business
Atlanta - Cable News Network (CNN) laid off 50 staff-members last week, including librarians, photojournalists and technicians. Company officials said in an internal memo that they were making technological advancements and changes to their work flow.
The latest data from Nielsen Holdings N.V. shows that CNN is hurting in the ratings and sits behind News Corp.’s Fox News. During prime-time hours this season, CNN averaged 491,000 houses, while Fox News generated 1.5 million households.
As part of a three-year internal review, the Time Warner-owned CNN laid off 50 employees in offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Washington, according to an office memo that was obtained by Reuters. There are conflicting reports, though, from news outlets that some employees say there were nearly 70 staff cuts.
Photojournalists, librarians and technicians were laid off. No reporters were eliminated from the company. Nearly a dozen photojournalists were given pink slips, and two had returned from covering the Conrad Murray trial.
The purpose of these layoffs is to make their editing and production departments more efficient. CNN’s archive library will be located in Atlanta, while the Washington library will be downsized and the New York library will be shut down.
When the pink slips were given, it was employee appreciation week where workers were given gifts and gratitude signage was decorated all over the New York office.
A CNN spokesperson told the United Press International that positions within CNN will “remain roughly flat” over the course of the next six months.
“We cannot begin to thank these individuals enough for their service to CNN. They leave with our respect and our sincere best wishes,” said Jack Womack, CNN Senior Vice President, in an email. “Now that we have completed this three-year review, we believe that we have the right resources in the right places and the proper staffing at Image + Sound, and that the unit is well-positioned to have an even more positive impact on our networks and platforms.”
CNN has not made any official announcements as of yet.
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