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Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

CNN restructures digital operations and cuts 50 jobs, but Asia bureau unaffected

The company’s retrenchment and restructuring plans were shared with staff during its town hall on Tuesday.

CNN has announced it will be restructuring its digital news operation in the United States, which will result in the American media giant laying off around 50 of its staff.

The company’s retrenchment and restructuring plans were shared with staff during its town hall on Tuesday. Among those being retrenched are staff who work in video production, programming and product development.

CNN Digital general manager Andrew Morse attributed the restructure and retrenchment exercise to falling advertising revenues because of the strength of the ‘digital duopoly’ of Google and Facebook, internal ‘financial targets were overly aggressive’, structural impediments got in the way of growth, and that CNN had "tried to do too much too fast."

Meanwhile, a source told The Drum that the CNN’s Asia Pacific base in Hong Kong will not be affected by the restructure and retrenchment exercise.

“We have been transparent about our strategy,” said the company’s spokesperson. “In order to innovate, grow and experiment, we have 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. Organisations that do not make big bets and continuously evolve are the ones that fail.”

The restructure will see CNN Digital editor-in-chief Meredith Artley be handed direct oversight of CNNMoney and CNNPolitics, while several different units that produce web video will be consolidated under senior vice president Chris Berend. Another senior vice president, Ed O'Keefe, will have a new role overseeing content development, and the vice president of communications Matt Dornic will oversee partnerships with platforms like Facebook and Snap

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