As CNN parent company WarnerMedia prepares to merge with Discovery Inc., a new report says a significant number of CNN’s staffers will be let go.
Speaking with a reporter this week, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said he plans to be “hands-on” as he leads the new entity.
“I’m moving to California,” Zaslav said, as Deadline reported Wednesday. “That’s where I’m going to live. … I’m going to get up most days, I’m going to live in LA, with an office on the lot.”
“That’s where the content is made. This is a content company,” he added, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m going to be very hands-on.”
“The better content we have, the better chance we have of being the leading media company in the world. I’ve been there, it’s invigorating.” Zaslav also said.
According to News Cycle Media President Jon Nicosia, a former managing editor at Mediaite, CNN is going to shift to being a “100% news company.”
And that means layoffs are coming, he tweeted.
“Scoop: CNN is going back to a 100% news channel. A “good number” of the “talent/staff” will be let go to align to that new mission,” Nicosia wrote.
Scoop: CNN is going back to a 100% news channel. A "good number" of the "talent/staff" will be let go to align to that new mission. 👉David Zaslav Vows To Be “Very Hands-On” And LA-Based In Running Warner Bros Discovery. https://t.co/q2F2u8Y4Hr
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) November 11, 2021
The journalist also reported that some shows might be replaced with documentaries.
Another option being floated is replacing poorly performing shows with documentaries. One of the bright spots of Zucker's reign has been Docs.
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) November 12, 2021
Zaslav would not provide too many details on the fate of CNN chief Jeff Zucker, who has previously signaled he plans to step down from his post by the end of the year.
Zaslav simply said: “Jeff’s a good friend and I like him a lot.”
The merger is expected to take effect in the not-too-distant future.
“Discovery and WarnerMedia parent AT&T expect the $43 billion merger to close by mid-2022,” Deadline reported.