Archive for Friday, December 1, 2000

CNN crew awaits ‘aggressive’ changes

December 1, 2000

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— CNN has told its staff to expect "aggressive" changes in the news operation next year, promising to evaluate each employee.

The e-mail to employees, sent by CNN News Group Chairman Tom Johnson and President Phil Kent, comes as the network prepares for the planned merger of America Online and parent company Time Warner.

Details of the internal memo were reported in the New York Daily News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"Expect a detailed and wide-ranging announcement early in the new year," said the e-mail. "In the coming weeks, we will consider the talents, skills and potential of each employee."

The message began by praising the network's election coverage, which has boosted sagging ratings.

CNN has experimented with programming changes recently and has said it wants to improve its ratings for times without breaking news.

"As you know, this is a time of change here at CNN," the executives wrote. "Aggressive programming changes. Aggressive changes in the way we gather the news and bring it to our viewers."

Johnson and Kent were unavailable for comment. Network spokeswoman Sue Binford said CNN's policy is not to comment on "speculation about personnel matters."

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