Struggling CNN lays off health unit staffers as headcount reduction moves forward
News network CNN is reducing its headcount, leaving many staffers worried for their jobs.
Sanjay Gupta is safe, but much of the rest of CNN’s Atlanta-based staff that covers health care found out Tuesday they are getting pink slips -- only a few weeks after the network called mass layoffs a "crazy rumor."
Specific details were not yet known, but a source told Fox News that “basically the whole division” will lose their jobs.
CNN did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
TVNewser, a media watchdog site started by CNN’s Brian Stelter, managed to get confirmation from the network -- just in time for a Friday news dump.
“As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” a CNN spokesperson told TVNewser’s A.J. Katz.
Many health department staffers met with human resources on Tuesday. Katz noted that correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is also safe.
Staffers are shocked, as the health department is considered successful and CNN recently declared that no layoffs were imminent.
“There are no mass layoffs at CNN. I have no idea where that crazy rumor came from. We have recently offered a voluntary buyout option for employees, and just over 100 people voluntarily decided to take it. That's it,” executive vice president Allison Gollust told Fox News on May 7. “We have nearly 4,000 people at CNN… and around 100 of them exercised the option for a program that was offered. That's it. Those are the facts.”
Despite CNN’s denial, staffers have been worried about potential layoffs since rumors began surfacing.
“CNN’s Southeast Bureau in Atlanta, CNN Health and CNN Climate will now be under one leadership, something that was not the case before,” Katz said.
The more than 100 CNN employees who decided to accept a voluntary buyout option included CNN International executive vice president Tony Maddox, who left the ratings-challenged network after 21 years.