NEW YORK, N.Y. – CNN’s “Crossfire” and Jane Velez-Mitchell’s nightly show on HLN are both being cancelled as a result of budget cuts at CNN Worldwide.
Velez-Mitchell’s program, which aired for six years at 7 p.m. Eastern on the CNN sister network, ended Monday. Mitchell was told of the layoff on Tuesday, and she was one of 12 people with the show let go with the cut, said executives Wednesday at CNN who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters. The show is being replaced temporarily by “Forensic Files.”
CNN boss Jeff Zucker revived the long-running political debate show “Crossfire” after it had spent several years off the air, but it never really caught on. The show has recently been on hiatus. The show’s hosts, Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter, S.E. Cupp and Van Jones, will stay on as commentators at CNN, but others with the show have been laid off.
CNN has also disbanded its Los Angeles-based unit that covers entertainment and will be ending three specialty shows because of the layoffs.
Rachel Nichols’ Friday night sports show, “Unguarded,” has been cancelled, but Nichols will remain as CNN’s sole sports anchor and also work for Turner Sports. Sanjay Gupta’s half-hour medical show that airs twice on the weekend has been axed, but Gupta — who is getting plenty of air time with the Ebola story dominating CNN’s news broadcasts — will stay with the network.
Similarly, the “CNN Money” show with Christine Romans that airs on Saturday afternoon will be cancelled, but Romans is staying with the network.
CNN Worldwide is in the midst of an 8 per cent staff cut, a total of 300 jobs. An estimated 130 people have taken buyouts, with layoffs accounting for the remainder, one of the executives said.