A day after CNN chief Chris Licht informed network staff that layoffs were incoming, the hammer came down.
Variety was the first to report that a number of notable correspondents and production staff were given pink slips on Thursday, including polarizing politics reporter and editor-at-large Chris Cillizza.
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.
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.
Additionally, the network has also parted ways with several paid on-air contributors, reportedly including New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser and Politico reporter Jonathan Martin.
In a staff-wide memo sent on Thursday afternoon, Licht acknowledged the cancellation of Morning Express along with the other cuts across CNN.
“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. “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.”
Adding that the network would be “shifting our approach to paid contributors,” the CNN boss noted 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.”
Licht also said that other divisions would deal with “restructuring” while letting remaining staff know that he would hold a town hall next week to discuss 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 stated. “To all employees, I want to underscore the importance of taking the time you need to best be able to move forward.”
The new CNN cost-cutting measures come as parent company Warner Bros. Discovery looks to clear billions of dollars from its budget while slashing at least a thousand jobs.