A long-anticipated round of major staff cuts at Turner Networks appears to be at hand, with Broadcasting & Cable reporting that the programming giant is about to tender buyout offers to around 500 senior staff members across its various channels.
According to the report, Turner isn't aiming to trim a specific headcount with the voluntary layoffs, but rather is targeting a benchmark in salary savings. The cuts span entertainment networks including TNT and Turner, as well as cable news platforms CNN and HLN. Managers are currently reviewing which individual staffers will receive the buyout offers.
Turner Networks did not respond to FierceCable's inquiry for comment.
The cuts have been alluded to for several months, with senior management referring to an upcoming restructuring plan labeled "Turner 2020."
Over the weekend, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on a memo sent to CNN staff last week by the news network's top executive, Jeff Zucker, who advised his charges, "We are going to do less and have to do it with less."
The trims follow months of declining ratings and ad sales for Turner, as well as a string of top-executive departures. These have included former CEO Phil Kent, ex-entertainment networks president Steve Koonin, former research chief Jack Wakshlag, and ex-ad sales grand puba Greg D'Alba.
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