News, Culture & Society

CNN fires Chris Cillizza, Alison Kosik, Alex Field, host Martin Savidge, Mary Ann Fox

The latest round of layoffs at CNN has hit some of the network’s biggest names.

Political analyst Chris Cillizza, 46, who has been covering national politics, the White House and Congress for the cable giant since 2017, after coming over to the network from The Washington Post, was among those who were let go this week, Variety reported.

Business correspondent Alison Kosik, 51, who covers the New York Stock Exchange and has been at the network since 2007 was nixed. She earns an average annual salary of between $100,000 and $145,143. 

Alexandra Field, 31, who covers major breaking news events for CNN and CNN International, and has reported from more than 20 countries was dismissed. She was working from the network’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong. 

Martin Savidge, 64, an anchor and correspondent for CNN based in the network’s world headquarters in Atlanta, who returned to the network in 2011 was let go.

Mary Ann Fox, Vice President of Northeast News, who also oversaw the editorial direction and day-to-day operations of the New York Bureau, and had been at CNN since 2014, was also sacked this week. It’s estimated that her yearly salary is $1 million.

The cable new giant also scrapped all of HLN’s live programming, including longtime host Robin Meade, 53, who was with the weekday Atlanta-based morning show for more than 21 years. It is estimated that her annual salary is $3million.

Political analyst Chris Cillizza, 46, who has been covering national politics, the White House and Congress for the cable giant and who came over to the network from The Washington Post in 2017 was among those who were let go this week, Variety reported

Business correspondent Alison Kosik, 51, who covers the New York Stock Exchange and has been at the network since 2007 was terminated this week during the network's first round of layoffs

Business correspondent Alison Kosik, 51, who covers the New York Stock Exchange and has been at the network since 2007 was terminated this week during the network’s first round of layoffs 

Alexandra Field, 31,  who has reported from more than 20 countries and covers major breaking news events for CNN and CNN International was let go

Host Martin Savidge, 64,an anchor and correspondent for CNN based in the network’s world headquarters in Atlanta, who returned to the network in 2011, was dismissed this week 

Mary Ann Fox, Vice President of Northeast News, who had been at CNN since 2014 and oversaw the editorial direction and day-to-day operations of the New York Bureau was fired

Mary Ann Fox, Vice President of Northeast News, who had been at CNN since 2014 and oversaw the editorial direction and day-to-day operations of the New York Bureau was fired

The cable new giant also scrapped all of HLN’s live programming, including longtime host Robin Meade, 53, who was with the Atlanta-based morning show for more than 21 years

Chris Licht took over as Chairman and CEO of the network in May. He is best known as the showrunner and executive producer of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, as well as CBS’s executive vice president of special programming

The layoffs were announced in this email sent by Licht on Wednesday

The layoffs were announced in this email sent by Licht on Wednesday 

CNN’s top boss Chris Licht informed employees that layoffs would begin on Wednesday and continue Thursday as he lamented ‘it will be a difficult time for everyone.’

Paid contributors at the cable network were told as early as Wednesday with full-time staffers being told in person and on Zoom Thursday whether they have a job or will be sacked, according to an internal memo that was distributed.

The layoffs come amid the cable news giants cost cutting plan by its parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.

Warner Bros. Discovery is trying to integrate the legacy Warner Media businesses -like CNN – and the Discovery businesses.

When Licht took over as Chairman and CEO of the network in May 2022, he said he did not anticipate layoffs but that story changed in October when he told employees some cost-cutting measures would be taking place translating in a number of staff changes and dismissals.

Licht took over after CNN’s former head Jeff Zucker resignation in February.

The cuts would impact employees based in New York and Atlanta most significantly, according to a source, Variety reported.

Licht described in a town hall meeting that ‘this is an organization that has had gut punch after gut punch after gut punch,’ adding, ‘most of the organizations out there wouldn’t have survived.’

Rising inflation, decreasing ad revenue, drop in ratings in cable news and concerns from investors on the economic outlook, has been some of the reasons why CNN had to implement some draconian methods. 

Sources familiar with the company’s finances estimated earlier this year that CNN is on track to miss its 2022 profitability target of $1.1 billion by more than $100 million, The New York Times reported 

Licht, who is best known as the showrunner and executive producer of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, as well as CBS’s executive vice president of special programming, announced he would follow up with more details on the changes on Thursday afternoon.

The contents of the memo also stated that ‘the affected employees would receive information about severance and their last day. Those who were eligible for 2022 bonuses would still receive them based on performance.’

‘I know these changes affect both our departing colleagues and those who remain,’ Licht wrote. ‘And we have resources to support you.’

The job cuts have been anticipated and come at a time when companies are looking to rein in costs and trim their headcount to brace for an economic slowdown.

In October, Licht had warned CNN would be undergoing changes, citing ‘widespread concern over the global economic outlook.’ The changes would affect ‘people, budgets and projects,’ Licht had said.  

In August, Brian Stelter, chief media correspondent and host of the weekly media news show, Reliable Sources, was axed from the cable network

In August, Brian Stelter, chief media correspondent and host of the weekly media news show, Reliable Sources was axed from the cable network 

CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was shown the door early during Licht's takeover

CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was shown the door during Licht’s takeover 

Another casualty of the network was veteran White House correspondent John Harwood - a highly critical voice of President Trump

Another casualty of the network was veteran White House correspondent John Harwood 

Chris Cuomo was fired from CNN in December 2021 after his alleged involvement that he advised his brother, former disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, regarding allegations of sexual harassment- that he still denies

Chris Cuomo was fired from CNN in December 2021 after his alleged involvement that he advised his brother, former disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, regarding allegations of sexual harassment- that he still denies

The new boss ushered out a number of high-profile talent that was under former network president Jeff Zucker and known to be critical of former President Trump.

In August, Brian Stelter, chief media correspondent and host of the weekly media news show, Reliable Sources which had aired for three decades. Licht vowed to clean up the network and move away from opinion broadcasting.

Another casualty of the network was veteran White House correspondent John Harwood and CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

In December 2021, popular host Chris Cuomo was shown the door. Though his show had been the most-watched show on the cable network at the time of his firing, often reaching 2 million viewers a night, his alleged involvement that he advised his brother, former disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, regarding allegations of sexual harassment- that he still denies.

When Licht took over the helm, the highly promoted paid streaming service CNN+ was shuttered a month after it’s launch leaving many at the network unsettled about the company’s future. 

Some of the new changes that took place earlier this fall have been revamping the channel’s morning news program.

Licht pushed back on speculation that he wants CNN to be more centrist in its reporting, The Hill reported. 

‘One of the biggest misconceptions about my vision is that I want to be vanilla, that I want to be centrist. That is bullshit,’ Licht told the Financial Times last week. ‘

‘You have to be compelling. You have to have edge. In many cases you take a side. Sometimes you just point out uncomfortable questions. But either way you don’t see it through a lens of left or right.’

 

 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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