In spite of CNN making $600 million this year and an expected $1 billion by 2017, Turner Broadcasting announced it would cut its headcount by 10%, which means 300 fewer jobs at CNN. This comes in the wake of Turner’s rebuff of a bid from Rupert Murdoch, and some believe that Turner is desperate to prove it did right be rejecting the offer, as reported by New York Magazine.
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CNN employees described the memo announcing the cutbacks as “soulless” and “a disaster, ” especially as the cuts come with a record year of profits. CNN head Jeff Zucker still has big plans for high quality programming and denies that the culture of cost-cutting will interfere with his plans for breaking news, original programming and digital. He said, “You have to do it in a way that the viewer is never going to know.”
“Still you can’t do everything, ” Zucker told New York magazine, referring to his shutting down CNN radio and other assets. “Atlanta is dead, ” he declared, and it seems that workers in Atlanta had better polish up their resumes or plan relocating to New York.
Zucker has had some disagreements with David Levy, President of Turner, and since Zucker may miss the freedom he had at NBC, some have speculated that he wants to take over Levy’s job as President. However, Zucker denies this, “Everybody can’t accept that I just want to run CNN. I don’t know how to disprove it to people. Really, I’m doing what I want to do. I’ve done that other job. This is more fun and incredibly challenging.”