CNN admitted that around 100 employees accepted voluntary buyout offers amid a company-wide restructuring by parent company AT&T, according to Deadline, which added that according to a spokesperson "the exits are purely related to the buyouts and do not involve any layoffs, contrary to a press report earlier on Monday.
There's a rumor making the rounds today about big impending layoffs at CNN. A CNN spokeswoman is knocking it down on the record: "No layoffs." There WERE voluntary buyouts throughout the organization, and about 100 people opted for it.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 6, 2019
The buyouts are consistent with similar offerings at HBO and Turner and will see dozens of seasoned employees leave the news brand. WarnerMedia parent AT&T is looking to restructure and reduce what was $170 billion in net debt as of the end of 2018.
The news comes the same day CNN began broadcasting some of its shows from its new WarnerMedia digs at 30 Hudson Yards, with about 1.5 million square feet of office space putting the WarnerMedia divisions under the same New York roof for the first time. Office workers, including many at CNN, had already made the move from Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, but the new studios are now lighting up on Manhattan’s Far West Side. -Deadline
AT&T/WarnerMedia have been executing on their restructuring plans since the federal government lost a legal appeal challenging AT&T's $81 billion takeover of Time Warner. The company is also attempting to unload its 10% stake in Hulu- which is deep in the red.
In April, the company finalized a $2.2 billion with 'Related Companies' for its Hudson Yards space which will keep them there through early 2034, while in March HBO announced the closure of Long Island-Based Hauppage Communications Center, which will include the elimination of around 75 out of 200 employees at the 35-year-old broadcast operations facility.