Cancellations/Layoffs at CNN Claim 'Crossfire,' Other Programs

October 15th, 2014 6:56 PM

On Tuesday, Turner Broadcasting, the parent company of CNN,  started the process of cancelling several of the news network's series, including the reboot of Crossfire, and began laying off hundreds of employees. Chris Ariens at the TVNewser blog reported that "as many as 300, or 8%, of CNN's workforce is being cut." Ariens later noted that "Jane Velez Mitchell's nightly HLN show has been canceled, part of deep cuts at CNN."

The writer broke the news about the cancellation of Crossfire in a Wednesday afternoon post. The debate program was hosted by Newt Gingrich, Van Jones, Stephanie Cutter, and S.E. Cupp. Ariens outlined that Crossfire "went missing from the lineup during multiple breaking news cycles this year...the program was yanked from the lineup as CNN produced near-nonstop coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The program was again taken off-air in mid-July before the downing of MH17 dominated the news cycle."

Back in September 2013, critics yawned at the first episode of the program, while asserting at the same time that it had "potential" or "promise." However, Laura Bennett of the New Republic bluntly critiqued that the reboot was too tame: "[Crossfire is] far from a shouting match. And that is precisely the problem."

Crossfire wasn't the only CNN program that met its demise on Wednesday, as Lisa de Moraes of the Deadline Hollywood website pointed out:

Meanwhile, Sanjay Gupta MD is being phased out; Gupta and team will focus on breaking news. Ditto Elizabeth Cohen as the network's medical unit is restructured — obviously it's a hot beat right now. CNN Money With Christine Romans is toast; she remains anchor of Early Start and the network's chief business correspondent. And, Unguarded With Rachel Nichols is history; she will continue as the network's sole sports anchor, contributing across all platforms and hosting primetime specials. Nichols also continues her role with Turner [S]ports.

Ariens explained in an item earlier on Wednesday that "Gupta and correspondent Elizabeth Cohen will focus on medical breaking news, field reporting, and documentaries for the network."