A familiar on-air host is the first big talent casualty as layoffs have hit Turner Broadcasting’s CNN and HLN networks. TheWrap.com reports that HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell is out.
The report cites multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, who confirmed the exit of Velez-Mitchell. “Mitchell’s self-titled show has been canceled and her entire staff — about a dozen workers — are also out. All told, HLN lost about 15 employees Tuesday,” the story reports.
The report adds: “Among other major losses, CNN’s entertainment unit — which covers red carpet events and awards shows on both coasts — is being completely disbanded, insiders confirmed. A senior entertainment producer and two entertainment producers in Los Angeles were let go. Three other L.A. entertainment staffers were transferred to the news division. The producer who runs CNN Entertainment in New York City is also out. Additionally, Northeast bureau chief Darius Walker was cut Tuesday. Walker had been with CNN for 18 years, and an insider described his exit as a ‘gut-wrenching’ loss.”
One source said CNN dumped the entire four-person New York staff of Christiane Amanpour. The veteran correspondent also has an office and staff in London, where she is based, and will continue her international news segments.
“These latest layoffs follow widespread CNN cuts last Wednesday in Atlanta that took place at the CNN Center and the Turner Broadcasting Techwood Campus,” TheWrap notes. “In that round of job losses, most of the affected employees were believed to be from the Sales Departments at CNN and HLN, as well as some workers from TNT.”
CNN wasn’t saying much about the moves, with a spokesperson telling TheWrap: “The changes this week are difficult yet necessary. Out of respect for our colleagues directly impacted, we won’t be commenting on specific people or programs.”
Describing the moves as a restructuring, the piece notes that insiders are saying more talent cuts are expected.