CNN’s Brian Stelter on Monday tried to fact-check what he called “a rumor” about big layoffs at his network.
Citing a CNN spokeswoman, the “Reliable Sources” host tweeted: “No layoffs.” Totally separately, he said: “There WERE voluntary buyouts throughout the organization, and about 100 people opted for it.”
Nothing to see here, Stelter seemed to suggest, CNN is doing great.
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According to Deadline, more than 100 veteran employees accepted buyouts as part of company-wide restructuring at AT&T’s WarnerMedia in an effort to tackle about $170 million in debt.
But Fox News contributor Sara Carter was among those who mocked the “voluntary buyouts” spin.
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) May 7, 2019
“So layoffs,” said another Twitter user, succinctly.
— ?nah ⛄️ (@StealthNathan) May 6, 2019
Many people pointed out that CNN has struggled in the ratings lately, dropping 26 percent in prime time last month compared to the same month in 2018. Meanwhile, April was the 208th consecutive month that Fox News won the cable news wars in prime time and total day.
While cable news has generally been in decline, commenters suggested that supposedly “Facts First” CNN is being particularly punished for its liberal bias. Podcaster Dave Rubin called out the “Fake News Network” for its misleading coverage of the Covington High School students, one of whom has sued CNN.
Hi @brianstelter. I’m sorry to say but CNN is the Fake News network. You’re promoting the same alternative universe as Buzzfeed and sharing videos from repugnant characters.
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) May 6, 2019
Others blamed anti-Trump bias, too.
Could it be because @CNN is down 26% in ratings, being sued by a high school student for $275 million dollars and because they fell in love with Michal Avenatti and had him on over 80 times? ?
— Chip Anderson?? (@chopperchip11) May 7, 2019
A number of commenters noted that buyouts often precede layoffs. So the bottom line is CNN is shrinking.
Buyouts… the beginning of "right-sizing."
— Voice of The Mute (@eduardoauthor) May 7, 2019
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- CNN host Brian Stelter.: Screen grab