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CNN Cutting About 100 Jobs and Plans to Debut Digital Subscriptions

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CNN is eliminating approximately 100 jobs and plans to debut its first digital subscriptions before the end of the year as the news network leans into reshaping its business.

In a memo sent to staff on Wednesday, CNN CEO Mark Thompson said noted that it's cutting just 100 jobs out of a total workforce of approximately 3,500. He said that open roles were closed wherever possible in order to minimize the total layoffs.

Media organizations including CNN have struggled to grow audiences and revenue, and have sought to diversify what they're offering to customers.

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Thompson said that CNN's digital strategy must be “ambitious enough to deliver the audiences and the revenue we need to maintain our unique journalistic firepower and succeed as a business.”

The executive said CNN will create subscription-ready products that offer news, analysis and context in new formats. He emphasized that there will be an effort to keep users on CNN.com's website longer and finding ways to get them to return more.

While CNN's digital products have primarily focused on text articles, Thompson said there will be a shift to more video content being provided.

“In the future our digital products need to do a far better job of reflecting CNN’s massive strength in video and anchoring/reporting talent,” Thompson said.

The organization is also going to develop more “news you can use” for its audience, with lifestyles and features content. Thompson said these products will provide the company with various monetization opportunities, including sponsorships, new advertising and direct-to-consumer subscription.

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CNN will also be pushing more into artificial intelligence, Thompson said, and will look at how it can safely use the technology to serve its audience.

Thompson, a former chief executive of the BBC and The New York Times, was named as the head of CNN in August 2023 and took over the role in October. He replaced Chris Licht, who was fired in June of that year. Thompson was credited with helping the Times transition to a digital-first organization more dependent on paid subscribers than the collapsing advertising market that has doomed many newspapers.

In January Thompson outlined a strategy to his staff that included a “drastic modernization” of the CNN.com website.

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