CNN’s on-going effort to cut costs resulted in widespread layoffs on Thursday with everyone from high-profile talent to rank-and-file staffers losing their jobs.
The often-viral Chris Cillizza is perhaps the most high-profile of the latest round of CNN staffers to be let go. Cillizza, a politics reporter and editor-at-large, had a knack for raising eyebrows with his political hot takes that often sparked visceral reactions from both the left and the right.
"My time at CNN was an absolute blast. I got to work with smart and dedicated journalists every day. I'm sad it's at an end but also excited about what the future holds for me," Cillizza tweeted.
CNN BEGINS LAYOFFS UNDER CHRIS LICHT: 'DIFFICULT TIME FOR EVERYONE'
The often-viral Chris Cillizza is perhaps the most high-profile of the CNN staffers to be let go. (Screenshot/CNN)
Robin Meade, the longtime host of HLN’s "Morning Express," is also out. CNN CEO Chris Licht pulled the plug on all live programming at HLN, a sister network of CNN, so Meade will leave the network she first joined in 2001 as a result.
CNN SCRAPS HLN'S LIVE PROGRAMMING AS COST-CUTTING MOVES CONTINUE AT WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY
Meade was the only laid-off employee to receive a shout-out from Licht, who issued a memo to staff on Thursday following the announced cuts.
"I want to take a moment to thank Robin Meade- she is not only an exceptionally popular anchor, but also one of the longest-running morning hosts in history. I know the HLN audience will miss her and the other HLN talent," Licht wrote.
CNN’s cost-cutting efforts will mark the sudden end of HLN’s live programming such as "Morning Express with Robin Meade." (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
CNN correspondents Alison Kosik, Martin Savidge, Alex Field as well as Mary Ann Fox, vice president of news in the Northeast, have also been let go, according to Variety. New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser and Politico columnist Jonathan Martin also lost their CNN contributorships, according to Puck News.
Additionally, daytime CNN anchor Ana Cabrera is reportedly leaving the network for NBCUniversal, likely joining MSNBC. Cabrera's exit is apparently unrelated to the layoffs.
A spokesperson for CNN declined to comment.
CNN'S PENDING LAYOFFS, HOLES IN PRIMETIME CAUSING CONSTERNATION UNDER NEW CEO
In his memo to staff, Licht attempted to explain the changes that were being made at CNN, including "reorganizing" CNN International and replacing one of its programs with a simulcast of regular CNN programming, "relying" more on CNN journalists for analysis than paid contributors, the merging of show staffs in the daytime and weekend lineups as well as the reduction of the creative marketing team.
"The changes we are making today are necessary and will make us stronger and better positioned to place big bets going forward without fear of failure," Licht wrote. "To your departing colleagues, I want to express my gratitude for your dedicated and tireless service and for your many contributions to CNN. To all employees, I want to underscore the importance of talking the time you need to best be able to move forward.
"I am proud of this CNN team, and together we will ensure CNN continues to be the world's most vital source of news and information," Licht added.
CEO Chris Licht took control of CNN earlier this year after a long-planned merger that put CNN under control of the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery)
Licht, who took over CNN after the ousting of Jeff Zucker, was tasked by boss David Zaslav earlier this year with making a further $100 million in cuts as part of a broader Warner Bros. Discovery budget-slicing effort, according to a Puck report. Licht initially told staffers this summer that layoffs were planned at the time, but Zaslav's directive changed his plans.
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Licht has already put his stamp on the network in less than a year on the job, scaling back CNN's original programming and documentaries, dropping the ax on the short-lived streaming service CNN+ and moving Don Lemon from primetime to the new AM show, "CNN This Morning," with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.
Brian Flood is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to email@example.com and on Twitter: @briansflood.