CNN boss Chris Licht continued to clean house at the embattled cable news network, zeroing in on the podcast division.

The network cut “a small number” of people in its audio unit as it continues to refine its strategy for the division, a CNN insider confirmed to The Post on Wednesday.

The insider said eight workers were fired, coming from the editorial and sales divisions.

“Audio is an important growth area for the company,” a CNN rep told The Post. “Over the last several years we’ve learned a lot about the topics and productions that most resonate with our audiences. As a result, we’ve refined our strategy to focus our resources more specifically in those areas.”  

Licht has been tasked with trimming the fat at CNN and reorienting the network to more straightforward reporting versus left-leaning punditry amid declining ratings.

chris licht
CNN’s new boss Chris Licht is tasked with giving the network a makeover amid steep cost cuts.
Getty Images for Vanity Fair

The changes come as CNN parent Warner Bros. Discovery works to shave $3 billion in costs by 2023. Roughly 300 staffers were let go when WBD shut CNN’s month-old streaming service, CNN+. Other layoffs have come from HBO Max’s non-scripted division and TBS/TNT’s scripted units and sales teams.

CNN made a big push into audio in February 2020 with a new leadership team and a programming slate that included three new podcasts. In recent weeks, it announced an Anderson Cooper-hosted podcast on grieving, “All There Is with Anderson Cooper.”

The lineup also includes “CNN 5 Things,” “Chasing Life With Dr. Sanjay Gupta” and “The Axe Files With David Axelrod.”

CNN said no changes have been made to the current slate.

Licht has made a slew of bold moves in recent weeks as he makes his mark on the network. Recently, he moved primetime anchor Don Lemon to a new morning show he will co-host with Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow. He also shifted Jake Tapper to Lemon’s 9 p.m. slot on a temporary basis as he reworks the network’s primetime lineup.

Other headline-grabbing decisions include ousting left-leaning journalists like Brian Stelter, John Harwood and Jeffrey Toobin

News of Tuesday’s layoffs was first reported by Insider.


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Tyler Cowan