CNN scales back London operation after £8m losses

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

International broadcaster CNN will reduce its London presence with the loss of jobs, after revealing to staff last night it had made losses of around £8 million.

CNN President Jeff Zucker apparently flew to London unexpectedly to present a town hall meeting, during which the news was delivered.

London-produced coverage aired on CNN International will fall by 90 minutes each day, shows like CNN Today are axed in favour of online content, and at least 12 will be laid off.

According to a CNN spokesperson, overall headcount at CNN will remain unchanged, but operations will be further centralised in Atlanta, where CNN's international HQ is. But while most of the London-based roles are in fact being directly moved to Atlanta, the British staff have been told they will not be automatically offered the transposed roles.

Much of the shortfall in content on CNN International will be replaced by "simulcasts" from the US operation, with the rest being replaced by repeats and material from the Abu Dhabi media centre. Newsgathering and digital will be protected, while live programming and individual show production will probably be hardest hit.

Problems at the broadcaster

Earlier in May, Tony Maddox announced his resignation as Managing Director of CNN International, following 21 years at the station. This revelation came amid reported plans to cut as many as 300 jobs at CNN, with 100 offered voluntary buyouts.

CNN's parent company Time Warner also last year underwent a change of hands, being bought out by telecoms giant AT&T. Time Warner was renamed WarnerVision and a reappraisal of CNN was implemented.


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