CNN chief Chris Licht tells staff to brace for budget cuts
CNN chief Chris Licht told staff Tuesday to brace for budget cuts in the current budget and the next fiscal year.
“There’s a lot of challenges to address,” said Licht at a town hall CNN attended with staff members and audience members in New York City.
“We’re under significant pressure to invest in our operations. And we’re under significant pressure to be disciplined with our budget,” he said. “I’m going to tell you that as of now we don’t know which way the wind is blowing, but it doesn’t look good.”
Licht said he spoke with President Obama, who is set to meet Tuesday with the president of the United States’ Council of Economic Advisers.
“We’re going to be in a room together on this,” said Licht. “We’re going to be thinking about the budget all the time, and trying to come to a good place where we’re both able to do the right thing for our employees, and help them to make the choices that are going to get us to the right place.”
The cuts, he said, will be a challenge for the network.
“I’m concerned about the network,” he said. “We’ve made too many promises, and we haven’t met them. We’re living in a time when we have to take real risks, and I think we’d be dead in the water if we didn’t do that.”
He said the network doesn’t have the resources or the people to do all the things that have been asked of it. “We’re going to do some pretty big things,” he said. “We’re going to get serious about our newsgathering.”
“We’re going to be very good at it and very good at newsgathering. I would like to be very clear about who we are. We’re a news organization, and a news organization is a big business. If we’re going to make the mistakes that we have, we’ll be very good at it.” – Jeff Zucker
Licht said one of the challenges is