CNN Newsgathering President Eason Jordan’s memo to CNN staff:
To: CNN colleagues
From: Eason Jordan
The CNN News Group will undergo a radical transformation in the weeks ahead as we strive to make our great news organization better than ever, heightening CNN’s competitive edge.
I am an outspoken advocate of revolutionary change within CNN and am the architect of many of the initiatives we are implementing across the News Group, especially in Newsgathering. In this note I provide details of the coming Newsgathering changes and explain why I believe these innovations are not only desirable but essential.
First, the hard part: this process initially will be painful for us because approximately 400 of our colleagues — our friends — will be leaving CNN due to these changes. In virtually every case their jobs are being eliminated not because they failed in their work but because an exhaustive examination of CNN’s staffing needs determined the re-engineered CNN needs 3,950 employees, not 4,350. We are losing good people, many of them long-time colleagues. I know all of us staying at CNN will be thoughtful and caring in helping our departing colleagues through this difficult time. The leaders of CNN intend to handle these departures in as sensitive and supportive a way as possible. Those whose jobs are being eliminated will be told by their managers the week of January 22. Several dozen people whose jobs are eliminated will be offered a position elsewhere in CNN. Colleagues whose jobs are eliminated and have no opportunity to stay with CNN in an equivalent position in the same city at the same pay will be offered a severance package based on tenure and salary that is more than twice as generous as the Company’s standard severance package. The Company also will offer those leaving CNN counseling and outplacement services and, for a time, continued access to their CNN e-mail account/address. Everything possible will be done to minimize the pain for everyone directly or indirectly involved in this process.