By: Steven J. Stark

Interactive Group President Resigns

(The Hollywood Reporter) Amid its largest restructuring – one that
will shrink its work force by 400 people, merge CNNfn and and streamline interactive operations – CNN
executives acknowledged Wednesday that competition has forced
them to reassess the entire enterprise and that they will expand
the news-gathering operation and spend millions more in 2001 than
in 2000.

The 400 shorn jobs will reduce to about 3,900 the number of
employees at the CNN Newsgroup. Many of the 400 will learn of
their departure next week; some will be moved into other jobs
within the company. Laid-off workers will receive twice the
standard severance package, including nine weeks’ pay, plus four
more weeks’ worth for each year of service. One third of the pink
slips will be in the interactive division, one third in
programming and the rest in other divisions.

A key aspect of the restructuring is the establishment of a 24/7
news-gathering “superdesk” in Atlanta that will coordinate news
from CNN’s 34 TV, radio and Internet news outlets so that they
all are on the same page editorially and logistically.

CNN also announced Wednesday the resignation of Scott Woelfel,
the president of CNN Interactive. Jim Walton, president of CNN
Domestic Networks for the CNN News Group, said the general
managers of all of CNN’s U.S. networks will now have reporting to
them a senior executive in charge of interactive matters.

Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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