More details about layoffs at CNN (NASDAQ:WBD) emerged Thursday, as HLN, a one-time 24-hour breaking news sister network, was set to put an end to live programming as part of a slate of job cuts and cost reductions.
According to a report from Variety, HLN will pull the plug on its signature morning news show, Morning Express with Robin Meade, which has been on the air since 2001, and replace Morning Express with a simulcast of CNN’s CNN This Morning. As part of Morning Express’ cancellation, Meade, and all staffers tied to the program will leave HLN.
Instead of live programming, HLN will run previously produced shows, and partner with Investigation Discovery on more true-crime programs.
The moves are part of a massive cost-cutting program that CNN Chief Executive Chris Licht has begun implementing across the network. Licht, who joined CNN (WBD) in May, has been tasked with re-making CNN in the wake of declining ratings, and criticism over of what many believe has been a rise in unbiased reporting at the network in recent years.
Layoff notices began going out around CNN on Wednesday, and Variety said dozens more reporters and staffers were being let go on Thursday. The job cuts are also part of plans of CNN parent company Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) to cut $3B in costs in the wake of acquiring the Warner Media assets from AT&T (T).
Two of Licht’s most high-profile moves have included shutting down the CNN+ subscription service barely a month after it launched earlier this year, and the cancellation of its media-criticism program, Reliable Sources, in August.