CNN cutting staff by as many as 300 jobs

Maybe President Trump ought to use the adjective "failing" in front of CNN instead of the New York Times.  In point of fact, Trump-hatred has been good for the Gray Lady, with digital subscriptions up substantially (over $700 million in revenue last year) as the paper became the premier source of anti-Trump fulminations.  

But with CNN, the story is very different.  The network that pioneered cable news long ago lost its dominant position to Fox News, and since Donald Trump became president has bet its future on the Russia Hoax — and lost.  Big time.

From The Hill:

CNN's prime-time ratings dropped a whopping 26 percent in April compared to last year, according to Nielsen Media Research.

MSNBC's ratings were down 14 percent in April 2019 compared to April 2018, while Fox News's ratings overall were flat.

The sharp decrease for CNN marked its lowest-rated month in total viewers since October 2015.

Most humiliatingly, CNN now is a distant third place in the ratings among cable news providers:

In prime time, Fox News finished first with an average of 2.4 million viewers. In April 2018, the network also averaged 2.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

MSNBC was second with an average of 1.66 million viewers, down from 1.93 million in April 2018.

CNN was third with 767,000 average primetime viewers, down from 1.04 million in April 2018.

A plan unveiled yesterday shows that CNN is cutting costs and downsizing its staff.  Paula Blyard reports at PJ Media:

CNN is planning to cut up to 300 jobs, "many being older employees with years at the network," according to a report on Monday.

According to FTVLive, a website that monitors the television industry, "Word is that just under 200 people will be pink slipped and just over 100 will be offered a buyout." Staffers are reportedly calling the cuts a "massive brain drain" because so many veteran employees are being given pink slips.

A brain drain is the last thing CNN needs, but older employees tend to be more expensive than the youngsters that Obama's national security adviser Ben Rhodes bragged that he could easily manipulate:

"The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That's a sea change. They literally know nothing."

So we can expect even more from CNN of the pap that has tanked its ratings.

As many companies do, CNN is using a move of its facilities as an opportunity to shed employees:

The reported cuts come just as CNN is moving many of its New York operations and studios from the Time Warner Center to Hudson Yards.

Aidan McLaughlin, an editor for Mediaite, tweeted that, according to a CNN source, the cable network is not making layoffs, but "more than 100 staffers took part in a voluntary buyout program[.]"

And CNN's media correspondent Brian Stelter (formerly of the prospering New York Times) tweets:

Most likely, few if any prominent on-camera personalities will be taking buyouts or will get pink slips.  It will be more anonymous staffers suffering the damage.

While CNN has actively driven away its viewers, the network still has continuing revenue from cable and satellite providers that helps cushion the decline in advertising revenue that will inevitably follow its ratings crash.

These are tough times for almost every media outlet, as the near duopoly of online advertising by Google and Facebook starves other outlets (including AT) of ad revenue, even if, as in our case, the audience remains strong and even growing.

Hat tip: Gail Kaplan.

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