CNN is paring its digital operations amidst several expensive new initiatives.
Citing ''people familiar with the matter,'' Vanity Fair reported that CNN will cut employees ''around the globe'' who ''work in premium businesses including CNN Money, video, product, tech and social publishing.'' The report further noted that ''several high profile digital initiatives are being scaled back.''
CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker has invested heavily into CNN's digital operations, but some the initiatives have not paid off. According to BuzzFeed, in September the digital unit of CNN was ''facing a $20 million budget shortfall'' while according to Vanity Fair reports, CNN Digital has fallen short of its revenue targets over the last year by tens of millions of dollars.
According to media analyst Jeffrey McCall who spoke to Fox News, the layoffs ''seem to suggest that CNN may have outkicked its coverage'' and Zucker wanted his digital group to ''grow too quickly'' before having a ''comprehensive plan'' in place.
''It does seem odd that these cuts are apparently targeted for the digital side at this time, when most strategists seem to think that's an area for potential growth,'' McCall said. ''CNN has made a ton of money in recent months with increased ratings as a result of the Trump administration. Thus, it is curious to see CNN acting like a financial cripple when revenue is heading in the right direction.''
USA Today quoted Matt Dornic, vice president of communications for CNN Worldwide, as saying "We've been transparent about our strategy. In order to innovate, grow and experiment, we've added more than 200 jobs in the past 18 months. Not every new project has paid off so we will stop some activities in order to reallocate those resources and enable future experimentation."