CNN announced they are cutting more employees — this time in their podcast unit.
CNN let go a number of employees in its podcasting unit Tuesday, the latest in a series of cuts at Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. and its news division.
In a statement to Bloomberg, a CNN spokesperson said that while audio remains an important area of focus, the network had learned a lot about the topics and productions that most resonate with audiences. “As a result, we’ve refined our strategy to focus our resources more specifically in those areas,” the spokesperson said.
CNN recently offered podcast updates. In August, former National Public Radio host Audie Cornish said her new show, The Assignment, would debut in October. The network also premiered All There Is, hosted by Anderson Cooper.
CNN is firing podcast employees despite the fact that ad spending on podcasts is only going up.
It’s a decision at odds with the current state of audio. According to a Statista report from August, ad spending for the medium is only going up, projecting to hit more than $2 billion in 2023 and surpass $2.5 billion in 2024.
CNN took its audio efforts seriously in 2020 when it launched a podcast division and introduced a slate of new shows and put its already-running podcasts under the umbrella. The network hired executives Lisa Namerow as head of podcast and audio partnerships, and Megan Marcus as ep of audio. Both will remain at the company.
Audio content also grew this year for the network, with weekly shows such as Diversifying With Delyanne Barros, which talks all things finance for younger generations, and All There Is hosted by longtime CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, which follows him on a journey of loss and grief.
He said they were told he was fired because CNN is doing fewer audio series next year.
Some bittersweet personal news: I learned today that my position at @CNN
Audio is being eliminated, along with the positions of some of my podcasting colleagues.
Why? I don’t know, exactly. We were told the company plans to produce fewer audio series next year.
It’s a shame because we’ve produced some A+ content, including a podcast that’s currently in the top 10 overall on @ApplePodcasts.
But I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, especially on the marketing and product side.
Is CNN failing even in a growing industry?